Thursday, July 08, 2010

THE LOVERS by Vendela Vida

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

In the aftermath of her husband's death, grieving widow Yvonne travels to Turkey where she and her husband had honeymooned 28 years before.  Her plan is to spend some time alone reflecting on her marriage and the loss of her husband and then meeting up with her adult twins for a cruise. Her plans become complicated when she quickly becomes entangled in the lives of several people.  She uncovers secrets about the man she is renting a house from. She becomes friends with the man's wife and forms an unlikely bond with her. She befriends an elderly woman who runs a yacht service with her husband. And, most poignantly, she befriends a young boy named Ahmet who sells shells at the local beach.  Through these interactions, Yvonne gains new insight into herself and the lives of her children until a tragic accident throws everything into chaos.

This is a short but affecting book not only about how we move through grief but also about how we define ourselves through relationships. As much as Yvonne longs to be alone with her memories and her thoughts, she cannot stop herself from connecting with other people and being affected by them. These strangers change the way she thinks about herself and her life in ways that she never imagined.  While the accident will not come as a surprise, it is still very moving.  Vida While some of the relationships in the book felt a little forced, the friendship between Yvonne and Ahmet was wonderful and the exploration of Yvonne's complex and difficult relationships with her addict daughter was also very well done.

BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. This book will not appeal to everyone. It is very introspective and quiet with little action or major entanglements. Still, it manages to be affecting and provides a very interesting character in Yvonne.


Diane said...

Hope you enjoyed this one; I did :)

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