Jennifer's Reviews > Bonjour Tristesse

Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
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Sep 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010
Read in September, 2010

A slim little novel that has more depth than the size of the book implies. Our heroine is Cecile, a self-absorbed 17 year old French girl. Her father over indulges her by bringing her into his own world of mistresses and parties. Cecile, her father and his mistress Elsa go to the south of France for the summer to relax in the sun but a visit from Cecile's dead mother's best friend, Anne, changes everything. When Anne and her father become engaged, Cecile shrinks from Anne's maternal interference and plots to bring back the world she loved before Anne intruded on their carefree lives.

Francoise Sagan was 17 when she wrote this novel and the introduction in my edition discusses Sagan's own precocious life, her love of fast cars and glamorous lifestyle. It's impressive how Sagan can articulate all the conflicting feelings of Cecile so convincingly, the way she vacilates from rationalizing her plans to hating herself for plotting to wanting to run away with her boyfriend to wanting to get away from her boyfriend all in a few paragraphs but just as a confused 17 year old's mind would spin at a time when she is growing up and trying to make sense of her relationships with her family and with men as a adult vs a girl.
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