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The Book of Pearl by Timothee de Fombelle

The Book of Pearl

by Timothee de Fombelle

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7310232,763 (3.71)2



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Such a beautiful exploration of story telling, love, and dedication.

Joshua's path is at times dark and lonely, at times bright and fulfilling. The effect on the narrator - of learning about it, writing it, accepting it as a possible truth - though, that is the key to this novel for me. ( )
  HippieLunatic | Jan 13, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A young man suddenly finds himself transported to a strange world in a different time. It is just before WWII in Paris, and a couple takes him in. He eventually takes their name and as Joshua Pearl, he sets out to make his way in the world. Along the way he begins to lose his memories of this fairy tale beginnings. Pearl spends his free time seeking out objects to prove the existence of his other life and his long lost love. With time running out, Joshua and his true love must find a way to break the curse that was placed on them long, long ago.

The Bottom Line: This is a strange and wonderful adventure set in another time. It is a pleasure to read and absorb; however, the shifting points of view are confusing at times. If you dare to pick this book up and start reading, you will be swept away by this poetic tale of first love. Recommended for teens and adults who enjoy literary fiction, fairy tales,and romance. ( )
  aya.herron | Jan 2, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a beautiful book. One that pulls you right in with its charming characters, elegant writing and subtle humour. A love story at heart, it chronicles the life of a man who has been cast out of his fairy tale into our world, where he endeavors to collect any stray fragments from his land so he can find his way back to his sweetheart. It's been a while since I've gotten so much joy from reading a book. Absolutely wonderful. ( )
  Bitter_Grace | Dec 20, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a beautiful book, and very strange. It feels like you're reading the transcript of a dream. It feels very French, and is written in an incredibly poetic way. Kudos to the translator! This must have been a tough job. It will definitely not be for everybody, as the language and the narrative style will annoy those who want a straight-forward story. ( )
  vanderschloot | Dec 6, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I am a sucker for fairytales.

These days, fantasy is dark and fast-paced. There are villains in the shadows with twisted plans that will keep you up at night. There are brazen heroes and maidens who don't need rescuing.

The Book of Pearl is something else entirely.

This novel reads like something by the Grimm brothers. The Kingdoms are a lush fantasy world so beautiful in their simplicity and believable enough that they could be our own, in another age and time. That is the charm of a fairytale - it's fantasy, but it feels like, just maybe, it could be real.

You feel heartbreak and longing for the characters.

The difference between a classic fairytale and The Book of Pearl is that you can't help but to fall for Ilian and Olia. The Narrator takes us back and forth between Ilian's childhood in the Kingdoms and his adulthood in WWII-era France. The story follows his struggle to remember who he is, the girl he loves, and collect tokens of proof. Ilian and Olia have a complicated curse set upon them which leads them both to intense, deep heartbreak.

This book touches so many of the senses and absolutely burrowed its way into my heart. I was very apprehensive about requesting it in the first place, after hearing other bloggers describe it as "just okay" or "not for me". I'm really, really glad I did. Sarah Ardizzone has done a beautiful job of translating the story and keeping the language soft and magical.

I guess for me, a lot of the things that turned other bloggers off this book really pulled me in. I genuinely didn't want to put this book down every night - there's so much between the lines that I want to know about Ilian and his quest. But the ending was the important part for these characters, and not the journey.

It was lovely. Really, really lovely.

The English translation of The Book of Pearl will be available Feburary 6, 2018.

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  Morteana | Dec 6, 2017 |
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A compelling story of a first love that defines a lifetime; perfect for fans of David Levithan, told with the intricate and beautiful writing style of bestselling author Timothee de Fombelle. Joshua Pearl is from a world that our own no longer believes in. He knows that his great love is waiting for him in that distant place, but he is trapped in our time. As his memories begin to fade, he discovers strange objects, tiny fragments of a story from a long time ago. Can Joshua remember the past and believe in his own story before his love is lost for ever? Ages 13+… (more)

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