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French Leave by Anna Gavalda
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French Leave (original 2009; edition 2011)

by Anna Gavalda

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3062136,648 (3.32)21
Member:avaland
Title:French Leave
Authors:Anna Gavalda
Info:Europa Editions (2011), Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:fiction, France, French authors

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French Leave by Anna Gavalda (2009)

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» See also 21 mentions

English (9)  Spanish (5)  Swedish (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This book centers around four adult siblings -- Simon, Lola, Garance, and Vincent -- who don't see each other as often as they used to. But when the eldest three reunite for a family wedding, they spontaneously decide to visit Vincent, the baby of the family, who has a job in the French countryside. Garance narrates the story and paints vivid pictures of her siblings. Simon, the eldest child, is the family's golden boy, the responsible one, who grew up to obtain a good job and a suitable wife, Carine, whom Lola and Garance tease mercilessly. Lola and Garance are best friends despite their differences; as Garance notes, "She's romantic, I'm pragmatic. She got married, I flitter and flirt. She can't sleep with a guy unless she's in love, I can't sleep with a guy unless there's a condom." When they abandon their relative's wedding to visit Vincent, the four siblings have a charmed weekend, reminiscing about the past and reevaluating some of the choices they've made in their lives.

This novella is like a bite of some frothy dessert, short and sweet. I don't often read books where the main focus is on sibling relationships, but I enjoyed reading about Garance and her brothers and sister -- especially because their relationships are generally good and pleasant rather than dysfunctional. I can relate to their situation somewhat: I only have one sibling, and we get along great, but because we are both adults who live far from each other, we don't stay in touch as well as I'd like. I think this book captures that bittersweet aspect of adult sibling relationships very well. I also liked the evolution of Garance and Lola's relationship with Carine; they sort of villainize her at first, but eventually they begin to see where she's coming from and tolerate her a little more. There's not much of a plot in this book, but it's such a quick read that it doesn't need many events to propel it forward. Overall, I found this book a pleasant diversion, and I'd recommend both it and Hunting and Gathering, a full-length novel by the same author.
  christina_reads | Jun 5, 2015 |
Gavalda's storIes suit English audiences - this was almost chic lit. I didn't like it; I didn't take to any of the characters. ( )
  jon1lambert | Feb 22, 2014 |
French Leave examines the lives of a group of quirky siblings - Garance, Lola, Simon, and Vincent. It’s told from the first person POV of Garance as she catches a ride with Simon and his wife to a family wedding. At first, it’s a lot of fun with sparkling, silly dialogue though a lot comes at the expense of Carine, Simon’s nagging, shrewish wife. The mishaps pile up as Garance, Simon and Carine make a detour to pick up Lola and the hints of their sad former lives contrast to the cheerful present. The three siblings decide to make a break for it at the wedding and go visit their also-quirky brother Vincent who is working as a chateau tour guide.As the story goes on, there’s perhaps too much adorable-family-quirkiness contrasted to Carine’s stuffy brood and later it gets too sentimental. Fun, but not too memorable. ( )
  DieFledermaus | May 21, 2013 |
Well, it was not worth the 9.50 euros I paid for the 140-pages paperback edition in Greek, in any case. But it was fun, even if it was full of references to French culture that I ignore. And the first part about the silly sister-in-law touched my heart:) But all in all, it seemed more like a few pages taken out of the author's diary than a novel. If I hadn't paid as much money for it as I did, I might even have enjoyed it more, lol! ( )
  faniP | Aug 24, 2012 |
Gavalda's dialogue is pitch-perfect in this slim, funny, poignant story in which nothing seems to happen and yet the story captures and intrigues. ( )
  kellyn | May 16, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gavalda, Annaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schauwecker, MireilleEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Siblings Simon, Garance, and Lola flee a dull family wedding to visit brother Vincent, who is working as a guide at a ch?ateau in the heart of the charming Tours countryside. For a few hours, they forget about the many demands of adulthood and lose themselves in a day of laughter, teasing, and memories.… (more)

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