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The Perfect Circle

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  54 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Winner of the 2004 Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction (French language) Shortlisted for the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Marianne, a young Montrealer, has come to live in Tuscany to draw and write and examine her life. Here she meets Marco, a temptingly seductive man who still lives in his mother's house in the village and who's not prepared to commit himself t ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by Cormorant Books (first published 2003)
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Jun 18, 2009 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2006
This is not a quick read, it's not one for the subway or your lunch break, but it is one for delving and imagining and running off to Italy with.

It opens with a passage in the second person, never easy to read at the best of times but hang in there, it tells the unnamed narrator's story in a nutshell, a very sad, lonely nutshell, and sets the premise for the rest of the story: to tell the story with names changed, to create some distance perhaps, or to handle the emotions and learn from them. I
Feb 17, 2015 Angela rated it it was ok
This book is so beautifully written that I refuse to criticize it. The fault is my own--I have so little patience for slow, ponderous, descriptive fiction these days. This reminds me of my experience of reading Anne Michaels, Kim Tuay, or Michael Helm--it's gorgeous but it just requires more attention than I'm capable of giving. Has plot based/thriller fiction destroyed my brain??

Perhaps this is the wrong time in my life to read such a book. I felt my eyes rolling quite a bit as I remembered my
Nov 13, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
This book was perfect. Perfect. Helped me understand someone in my own life as well. The prose was stunning, I was absolutely floored. I will definitely be reading the original french version as well to see if it's just the translation that has so much lyricism to it. I will definitely, definitely be reading more of Pascale Quivigier.
Marie-Claire Pitre
L'auteure a reçue le Prix du gouverneur général pour ce livre. Je suis heureuse de lire un livre écrit au Canada. Ce livre raconte un peine d'amour et le retour vers la vie. Il est écrit en deux temps ou deux styles. Le "je" et la troisième personne. Elle alterne entre le présent et le passé. Le personnage est à la fois dévastée par l'amour et ... sauvée par l'amour. J'ai aimé les titres des chapitres. J'ai l'impression que cette auteure peint car on dirait qu'elle décrit des tableaux. Ses titre ...more
This book was translated from French and while I don't read or speak the language, I'm pretty impressed with how well the translator did. It's a beautiful love story, told in a very ethereal way.
Initially the writing style pulled me, but the rest of the book just fell flat, making it a book that I struggled to finish.

The main plot didn't do much for me. In fact most of time it felt like it was at a standstill and I was waiting for something to happen with it, for it to progress more or for something to happen to make that one grab and keep me interested in the book. Unfortunately, that never happened.

The characterization also didn't work for me, from the lack of development to the fac
Aug 19, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Kathryn Deiss
One's self and the environment. To live in the world, or is the world where we live? I would give a bad thanks to translator Sheila Fischman. In English, the book's lyricism and rhythms are engaging. Tuscany as the glass dessert case in a Greek diner...those exotic pies and cakes look so visually engaging, but the taste can be pretty bland, once you get inside the chocolate shell. Many of us will see aspects of previous intense relationships that eventually disengaged....without regrets.
Jul 06, 2013 Liz rated it it was ok
Found this in the apartment we are staying at in Paris. A very quick read but I didn't really care for the characters. They weren't really developed enough, and what we did learn of them didn't really make them likable in my opinion.
Nov 13, 2008 Annie rated it it was ok
this tug of war between lovers just felt too familiar - is it possible that I am her? Perhaps the best example of the universality of human emotions.
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Pascale Quiviger was born in Montreal and now divides her time between London, UK and Italy. Her first novel, The Perfect Circle, won the Governor General's Literary Award for French Fiction and was a Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist.
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