Saturday, October 18, 2014
Le Divorce by Diane Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Le Divorce is interesting in that the cover (the cover shown here is not the one I had) looks like the book would be Chick Lit. It's not, though, which makes it interesting when you look up reviews. While it's good literature, those who may have picked it up for the cover may not have especially enjoyed it.
I found it to be refreshing. It covered quite a few different themes, such as navigating a divorce in France, the property rights of a painting, reasons for marriage and divorce, attraction to power, femininity and the battle of the sexes.
One of the quotes I especially liked was, "We wrongly tend to think old people depend on us."
When you're young, you assume the world revolves around you and other young people. As you grow older, you realize everything is actually quite the opposite and older people just let youth believe everything is all about them, so they can get on living.
So... about the book.
Isabel moves to Paris to help her sister Roxy during her pregnancy, since she just quit film school. Just before Isabel shows up, Roxy's husband leaves her and her daughter.
Roxy is distraught and fine with letting people believe he is just away on a trip, but as things move on, people begin to learn the truth and Roxy dives further and further into depression.
When Isabel arrives in Paris, she does not understand what it is about the French that Roxy loves so much, but the longer she is there, the more it grows on her, especially the food. When Isabel finds herself being drawn to a powerful older man, she contemplates what it means to be a mistress and eventually learns first hand.
This novel not only shows some of the differences between Americans and the French through an interesting storyline, but also explores how greed can work its way into the hearts of those that didn't think they were interested in money just by the mere possibility of it.
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