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The Way I Found Her
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The Way I Found Her

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  769 ratings  ·  78 reviews
This is the summer that Lewis Little, precocious thirteen-year-old, is spending in Paris with his mother, Alice. Alice is translating the latest medieval romance by Valentina Gavrilovich, the bestselling and exotic Russian émigré, Lewis is there to make his first acquaintance with one of the greatest cities in the world; neither can foresee the momentous events that lie in ...more
Paperback, 359 pages
Published April 2nd 1998 by Vintage (first published 1997)
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Dec 05, 2008 Kym rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Poets, Dreamers & Lovers
Set in Paris, it is a beautiful kind of reverse Lolita tale of a young boy falling in love with an older woman. He spends his summer in an attic of a gorgeous apartment in Paris, learning the language by reading Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment in French, and walking around the city on his own as his mother translates books for their host, Valentina. Dramatic, touching, and full of beautiful sorrow, this is a book to remember. Like the literary equivalent to 'Some Velvet Morning' by Nancy Si ...more
I’m very, very torn on this novel. It is a coming-of-age story told by Lewis, a thirteen-year-old boy from Devon who spends a summer in Paris with his mother Alice, a translator for Valentina, a Russian-born French writer of medieval romance novels. For the first half, the book is a sweet and atmospheric tale that follows Lewis through the streets of Paris, the people he meets, his thoughts, emotions and sexuality of a boy becoming a teenager, as he almost immediately develops a crush for attrac ...more
Sue Uden
A thought provoking, memorable read. I have loved every Rose Tremain I have read. Strangely all the way through I thought I had read this one before. And more than probably I had, when it was first published - but then I was a different me then! This time there was so much to say that I haven't time to do that now - but maybe I'll come back and edit this later. In the meantime, I would recommend it as an excellent read - with wonderful settings in Paris and insights to Russian history - and an e ...more
Huw Rhys
Rose Tremain always delivers a cracking good yarn - and "The Way I Found her" doesn't fail to please, as usual.

OK, the premise of an extremely sexually aware 13-year old boy may be a little far fetched - but if you want reality, watch soap operas. If you want a damn good story with strong characterizations, insights onto the human nature and an allround entertaining read - then you'll probably enjoy this book.

No two Rose Tremain books are the same - the settings (both geographically and historic
Melanie Garrett
This is one of my all time favourite reads. I was completely captivated by the narrator, Lewis, and his coming of age drama. I don't want to say too much more because I don't want to spoil anything, but having just felt quite disappointed with The Road Home because it seemed to me the characters were too cosseted, and that Tremain was running ahead and smoothing their way the whole time, I'd have to say that The Way I Found Her was a much, much braver book.

I finished reading it at five in the mo
Kathleen Hagen
The Way I Found Her, by Rose Tremain, Narrated by Tom Haywood, Produced by Audible inc., downloaded from

This is the summer that Lewis Little, precocious thirteen-year-old, is spending in Paris with his mother, Alice. Alice is translating the latest medieval
romance by Valentina Gavrilovich, the bestselling and exotic Russian émigré, Lewis is there to make his first acquaintance with one of the greatest cities
in the world; neither can foresee the momentous events that lie in wait for
This is a classic example of "don't judge a book by its cover". It looks like a trashy piece of fluff, but it is so NOT. It is the deeply moving (and painful) story of a pivotal summer in the life of an adolescent boy. If you want light reading, don't choose this; but if you want something unique and memorable, this is a book for you.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. At times it compared with anything written by this brilliant author and at others it became rambling and boring. I'm all for the odd description of a dream, but this book overdid this device. The descriptions of Paris were great to begin with, but these also became a little repetitive. The development of the main plot is interesting when thirteen year old Lewis sets himself a quest because of his adolescent adoration for the voluptuous Valentina, with ...more
Clearly I have to read The Wanderer (Les Grand Meaulnes), the book Lewis Little is translating in which the main character is a young French schoolboy finding his first love. In this book, the schoolboy Lewis is English and his love is a crush on the French writer whose latest novel is being translated by this mother. The narrative is entirely from the point of view of Lewis, who at 13 is neither younger nor older than that, as he well realizes. A highly readable, if not very plausible, narrativ ...more
Ana Emilia
The most enjoyable part of this novel for me was the trip through Paris; the sweetness of the pasteries in the cafes on Rue Rembrandt, shopping at the colorful outdoor markets, and the trips to Parc Monceau with Sergi the dog.
Additionally, I liked the characters, especially Lewis, Didier and Valentina. They were so well defined and depicted so well, I could almost paint their portraits. This is the second Rose Tremain book I have read and her character definition is very appealing to me.
On anot
From the beginning I didn't like Lewis and his thoughts ok he was intelligence but he killed Valentina by his stubborn and loving her I knew it when he forced her to escape from the roof that smth bad is going to happen.He was acting older than his age if he let the job to the adults nothing would happend to the end he was remembering her and smile! he thought that she belong to him !
A very unusual novel in plot and characters. I'm not sure it was entirely believable, or whether we are supposed to believe it. For the most part it kept my attention although there were some bits where the story seemed to be going nowhere. One which will stick in my mind, I think.
This one left me in tears. Literally. The last 75 pages just got to me. The plot is fairly simple, Lewis Little, 13, spends the summer in Paris with his mother, who is translating the latest medieval romance novel from Valentina Gavril as she writes it. The summer is hot and Lewis is becoming a teenager with a giant crush on Valentina. He reads, takes walks with Valentina's dog Sergueï. And one day, Valentina vanishes. No one can find her. No ransom demand. Nothing. Lewis decides he will find he ...more
Jay Fitzloff
My mom recommended this book to me. After reading it, I have no idea why she did, but it was still a good book.

The first half moves incredibly slow, allowing the reader to get to know the main character - a young boy of 13 spending the summer in France while his mom translates the book of a famous medieval romance author. An entertaining premise, but what ultimately delivers in this book is Tremain's ability to successfully portray the inner thoughts of a young teenage boy.

By the time you get to
I was drawn to this book when I heard it was about a English boy, Lewis Little, who goes to France with his mother, a translator, and becomes interested in the book Le Grand Meaulnes, which is one of my favorite French novels. However, the parts about Lewis's fascination with Le Grand Meaulnes are quick and disappointing, and the plot deteriorates into Lewis's larger, hormonal fascination with Valentine, a neighbor, who mysteriously disappears about halfway through the book. The plot deteriora ...more
Nicole G.
Lewis is a thirteen year old British boy on holiday with his mother, Alice. Alice is a translator for Valentina, a Russian woman who writes French romance novels. When Valentina suddenly disappears after a hotel visit with a former lover, Lewis takes it upon himself to try to crack the case; he gets sucked into a maelstrom of seedy characters. I'm not too keen on just mystery stories, but this had more than that to it - coming of age, Lewis' parents and their relationship, etc. I think the only ...more
A precocious 13-year-old boy narrates this story, set in and evocative of Paris. It’s a fabric of exotic and interesting characters and ideas, involving a Russian woman writer of medieval romance novels--written in French--that the boy's mother is translating into English. There is some Existentialism, a suspicion of plagiarism, and a kidnapping. Of course the boy is obsessed with the woman writer(a standard middle-aged woman author fantasy?). Some of it borders on implausible, though it's mostl ...more
My rating is about liking, but I think the book is excellent -- just not the kind of story that speaks to me (ie adolescent boy story).
And then, after only a moment or two, I hear her laughter and a feeling like happiness comes into me and is mine.

Last line from The Way I Found Her by Rose Tremain. I’d read The Colour by Rose Tremain a while ago and because it gradually won me over, I thought I’d try another one of her books. The Way I Found Her was a drag through the fantasies of a teenage boy. None of the characters captured my interest and I couldn’t finish this fast enough. Tremain’s saving grace is that she can write well;
As stated, this is about a precocious 13 year old boy living in Paris with his mother, a translator, and the writer she works with. Let's just say I did not buy the concept from the start. Felt false. I understand you must give a writer some latitude, but she used all my suspension of disbelief in the first 10 pages. This was not a 13 year old boy in that book--it was an adult woman wanting to endow a boy with traits almost never seen in a child then just call him precocious to say it is possibl ...more
Lawrence A
I loved the writing and the theme of early adolescent lust for an older woman, coupled with alienation from one's parents. Of course, I'd like to think that, when I was just about to turn 14, I had Lewis Little's preternaturally adult responses to the grown-up world of sex, work, duplicity, and depravity. Needless to say, I didn't have his courage, but what straight 14-year-old boy doesn't have fantasies of saving an older, voluptuous damsel in distress [while simultaneously discovering his own ...more
Lionel Denny
Rose Tremain never fears covering thought provoking, provocative and controversial material but does it with sensitivity, care and results in another excellent tale.
In this book Rose Tremain portrayed Paris in the very latter end of the 20th Century in a way that was so evocative I felt as though I had lived there myself. I don't know if that Paris exists now - I don't know if it ever actually existed.

The characters were often vile, not least the overly self-aware Lewis but it didn't really matter much to me, I don't think the point was to like the characters.

Refreshingly good, considering she has many more books I am yet to read.
A precocious thirteen-year old boy, Lewis, spends the summer in Paris, where his mother is working as translator for Valentina, a woman novelist. At first, this seems to be merely a coming of age story, with Lewis' observations on the adult world which surrounds him making for some wonderfully witty passages. But there is a mystery or two, and adventure, and in the end a conclusion of integrity, making this a very satisfying and clever novel indeed. Recommended.
This was a re-read for me and just as enjoyable as the first time. The Paris that the author evokes is so clear - the food, the smells, colours and clothes just are so well described. The thoughts of Lewis are too well observed (if much too channelled and educated - I really don't think 13 year old boys think like Lewis) so that they can move the plot along - would it have worked without a 1st person narrator? Poignant and well-plotted - a very good read.
Shereese Maynard
This book is beautifully written from the POV of a thirteen year old boy whose life has been altered by his mother's vocation. The character's are so carefully written that the reader feels as if you know them. A big fan of Tremain already, I was recommended this book by Carolyn See, a critic whose opinion I greatly respect. I love the setting of this book and Tremain does an exceptional job of getting into the head of this young boy. Bravo!
An odd book about a 13 year old boy's obsession with a 42 year old woman. It kept my interest enough to keep me reading, but I wouldn't call it absorbing. I found it hard to buy the kid's sexual tenderness and sophistication. He seemed to be more emotionally mature than the adults surrounding him. I don't think this is what 13 year old boys are like. The plot doesn't really develop until late in the book and then seems wildly improbable.
Long time since I've been here so a lot of books and catching up to do. I'm 'currently reading' this but annoyingly I left it in my dad's car so you could say I'm having an interlude between parts 1 & 2. Good classic Rose T stuff so far though.
Retrieved it from dad's car. I'd rate this as among her better stuff but not as good as The Road Home. This is earlier and told from a raw sensitive yoof perspective.
My least favourite Rose Tremain to date, bit disappointing as I'm usually a big fan. First part was a bit repetitive and I nearly gave up, then it unexpectedly turned into a very different story but somehow I never quite believed in the narrative or the characters.
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Rose Tremain's best-selling novels have won many awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence), the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger (Sacred Country). Restoration, the first of her novels to feature Robert Merivel, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989 and made into a film in 1995. She lives in Norfolk a ...more
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The Road Home The Colour Restoration Music & Silence Trespass

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