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Isabelle by Tessa de Loo
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Isabelle (1989)

by Tessa de Loo

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138486,938 (3.14)4

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Dutch (3)  English (1)  All (4)
Isabelle by the Dutch author Tessa de Loo is a novella about a kidnapping. One day, the beautiful actress Isabelle Amable goes for a walk and disappears without a trace. The reader soon learns that she is kidnapped by Jeanne Bitor, who keeps Isabelle hidden in her cellar, stripped of her clothes and feeding her like an animal. Jeanne, who works as a barmaid in the local pub, is a painter. She is obsessed by the idea of decay. She paints Isabelle every day, while starving her, aiming to capture the process of withering beauty, decay and death on her large canvasses. Jeanne believes that she herself is very ugly, and envies Isabelle's beauty. Following Isabelle's spectacular escape and rescue, Jeanne disappears.

While a few weeks into Isabelle's disappearance the authorities gave up looking for her, the local school master Bernard Buffon kept searching for her, his persistence apparently a mixture of kindness and longing. He is the one who finds Isabelle. After Isabelle's departure, Bernard starts looking and keeps looking for Jeanne Bitor, with the same kindness, and perhaps sympathy.

Isabelle is a real page turner and the mystery is quite enticing. The story is set in a French village, and descriptions of the pub, the villagers, the mountains and Jeanne's farm house are very imaginative.

Tessa de Loo is a successful Dutch author. Since the early 1980s she has published a considerable oevre consisting of seven novels, three novellas and two collections of short stories. ( )
2 vote edwinbcn | Sep 30, 2013 |
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Vor nicht allzu langer Zeit verschwand in der Auvergne, einer Region in Frankreich, die wegen ihrer erloschenen Vulkane, grünen Kraterseen, mit Amethyst gepflasterten Strassen und ihrer Häuser aus schwarzem Vulkanit bekannt ist, am hellichten Tag die berühmte Filmschauspielerin Isabelle Amable.
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