Malena Watrous's Reviews > The Lovers

The Lovers by Vendela Vida
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's review
Aug 17, 2010

really liked it

I like Vendela Vida's writing a lot. It's pared down to the essentials, with a great forward momentum--even when the characters are privately mulling over the past, as Yvonne is in this book. I like how she captures the surrealism of ordinary details--white freckles on a man's arms, a hotel room in a cave, a woman who only arranges her face so that she looks beautiful when she knows she's being looked at. I agree with those who say that she writes in the vein of Paul Bowles--these travel novels at least--showing people journeying abroad in order to journey inward. She can get at her characters' interiority while mostly staying focused on what they're experiencing on the outside, which I admire. I found this book hard to put down, which I appreciate (especially since I've been a bit distracted lately). Like others, I'm mixed on the ending. Halfway through the book, I'd decided that the backstory involving the daughter, and why she'd turned to alcohol and drugs from such a young age, was dark in a way that Yvonne herself hadn't recognized yet, but that she would by the end. This didn't happen, and I can't decide if I'm relieved or not.
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message 1: by Molly (new)

Molly Malena, your comments entice me to look into Vida's work. Thank you for that.

Have Julie Orringer's Invisible Bridge or Out by Kirino next on my list.

Loved reading your If You Follow Me and being taken to rural Japan.

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