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Delicacy

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  10,279 ratings  ·  1,200 reviews
Losing her beloved husband after only seven years of marriage, heartbroken widow Nathalie steels herself against emotional attachments until she unexpectedly falls in for her offbeat, guileless co-worker, Markus, who represents the opposite of everything.
Paperback, movie tie-in edition, 250 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Harper Perennial (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,279 ratings  ·  1,200 reviews


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Manny
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People looking for superior French chick-lit
He had managed to navigate his way to the French language section of the bookshop; now he had no idea what to do. Some of the titles were at least recognizable. Madame Bovary... but surely she would have read it? And the same went for Du côté de chez Swann. Maybe this was not such a good idea after all.

"Can I help you?"

The assistant - a lapel badge said her name was Sophie - looked like she was in her late twenties. Short dark hair, earnest expression, French accent. He cleared his throat.

"I'm l
...more
Nat K
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've read this twice and fall in love all over again. A gentle, beautiful story about finding love, losing it, and then finding it again. ...more
Ciara
Mar 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
wow. i can't believe how terrible this book is. it's a french novel that was apparently nominated for or won all five top french literary prizes. really, france? this book is honestly nothing but an ode to the shameless disregard for sexual harassment law. but i guess france is the same country that gave us dominique struss-kahn. maybe i shouldn't be surprised.

i put this on hold at the library based on a review that said it was about how a woman recovers after the sudden death of her young husb
...more
Jessica Gaskin
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an unexpected pleasure. I came across it on the Amazon kindle daily deal and decided to give it a try. There is something quite abstract and mythical about this novel that pulls it out of the 'chic lit' category and makes for a much more interesting read.

The main character is almost as much of a mystery to the reader as she is to the three men who become enchanted with her. And yet as a reader you share their enchantment and want to know more about her. Markus is also a character whom
...more
Jenne
Oct 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
I think this book thinks it's charming, but it just left me feeling gross. The main character is this woman who is barely even a person, just a beautiful face with vaguely strange habits. Of course, everyone loves her for no special reason. It just seemed like the author really wanted to fuck Audrey Tautou and decided to write a book about what he would like her personality to be, but he didn't even care that much and just put in a bunch of random crap to make it sort of like Amelie.
Also, don't
...more
Lucy
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If ever I chose the right book to read at the right time, this book was it. I’ve been muddling through books for what seems like years, liking some well enough and recognizing some that deserve to be categorized as amazing (i.e. Unbroken) but, it’s been a long while since I’ve picked up a book that I didn’t want to put down. It seems even longer than that when the book also qualifies as great.

Even so, I’m nervous giving this an “amazing” rating but...I’m going to! Because, I loved it. It’s easy
...more
Sam Quixote
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Francois meets Natalie. They fall in love and get married. Francois dies in an accident. Natalie is devastated. One day, years after Francois' death, she kisses one of her colleagues, Markus, on a whim. Could Markus be Natalie's lifeline back to love?

If I'd read that synopsis I would have said that no way would this be a novel I'd enjoy nor think it could possibly work, but having read the novel I can say "Delicacy" is a discovery for me - it's a really good novel. But it's more than a romance n
...more
Susan's Reviews
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting: this story examines "true love" in two separate physical manifestations. As a young woman, Nathalie meets her soulmate in Francois - it is "love at first sight". Francois is handsome, passionate and prone to quirky gestures. (I loved the puzzle he puts together in front of her, asking her to marry him! In the movie version of this book, Francois slides his key ring over her finger. Awww!)

They share seven blissful years together before he is killed by a car while out on a jog. Natha
...more
Winna
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mellow-books
Another holiday read. I find this one charming, and very delicate. I like the author's writing style, quite unique with bits of random things that relate a bit to the story, enchanting characters that are flawed, quirky but real. I like Natalie, I find myself wanting to know more about her and how her relationship with the people around her evolve.

More excited to find that a movie starring Audrey Taoutou is to be released soon, based on this book. I imagine her when I read, and what a perfect ca
...more
Rowena
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved this book and the two wonderful main characters!!
Aman
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I like the book in general because I found the writing so beautiful and fascinating but the story didn't interest me much it wasn't original and the love triangle is always a bad idea for me. ...more
May
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In David Foenkinos's La Délicatesse, the beautiful and enigmatic Nathalie becomes a widow after her husband's sudden death. From thereon impenetrable, she coolly deflects the sexual advances of Charles, her boss, and channels her grief into her work. Yet the unexpected happens when Nathalie - out of the blue - kisses her Swedish colleague Markus on the lips. Although the kiss is merely "un acte gratuit" (an unwarranted act) to Nathalie, Markus - old, balding, single, awkward and unlucky with the ...more
Steve
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started this book in much the same way as the main character - hopeful. It seemed so full of promise. Unfortunately, I very quickly found myself becoming irritated by the writing style, which reads like a cross between a movie script and a Twitter feed. Is it really necessary for a 250 page book to have 115 chapters? - Especially when some of them are made up of only three or four words. I should have been forewarned by the footnote on the first page, where after saying "But she never ever fel ...more
Plateresca
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A very little book, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, philosophical and somehow nostalgic. The writing reminded me a little of Françoise Sagan's.

A few quotes:
'No one understands people who say they want to be alone.'
'Maybe that's what grief is: a permanent disconnect from the here and now.'
'Everyone should avoid coming into contact with the fears of his countrymen.' [Oh, so true!]
'Code for the Door to Markus's Building
A9624'

[As for the last one, that's actually a whole chapter, and the novel is
...more
Jennie
Sep 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
Someone at work left this on my desk with a note saying she thought I would like it. We shall see.

Update.... blah. Quirky, Frenchy chick lit. The first part is well written in spite of its inherent melodramatic quality. The second half....well. The boss/villain is ridiculously overdone, behaving in ways no sentient being ever would in any dimension. Meanwhile the hero/love interest appears to be suffering from Aspergers. I would have given it 2 stars but then I got to this part: "She understood
...more
Genia Lukin
Jan 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: other
What an unbearably cutesy book this is.
Jessica Jeffers
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Three and a half stars, really. A very simple, sweet love story. Natalie and Francois had the kind of whirlwind romance that chick flicks have taught us we are supposed to long for – a chance encounter and they are instantly in synch. They are deeply content for the next seven years, until Francois is hit by a car while out running. Delicacy is the story of how Natalie grows beyond her grief and despair and learns to love again.

The storytelling reminded me of Graham Green’s The End of the Affai
...more
Katie
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a delight of a book! Felt like a cross between a novel and a poem. The concise and gorgeous language of a poem, and a strong focus on the main characters, without much background to distract or fill it into a full narrative. So many of the quotes are sticking with me.... "Here was one kind of rejoicing that was simple to do", "the unconscious evolution of an intuition", and "She...had a way of dovetailing with his idea of the sublime." Who writes like this?? Incredible use of language. What ...more
Elline Pelline
Firstly, I want to prepare everyone about to read Nathalie that it isn't like anything else. ORIGINALITY is the key word. Also, the plot might sound a bit of a cliché to start with. And it truly is. However, the stereotypes helps to heighten the comedy, the brilliance, the ORIGINALITY of the novel. My best advice is just to read. Don't judge. Just allow Foenkins to guide you through the pages. No prejudices. I promise you, you won't regret! ...more
mentalexotica
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For starters, don't be misled by the silly title. What you find between the pages is sheer song. A love story. Not original by any means. Not unusual. Not extraordinary for any reason other than the way it is presented. Without guile. Lucid. Simple yet indulgent. Tender and soft. Words you could caress for their turn of phrase. Delicate in that respect. And ever so delightful. ...more
Ghada Muthana
it's official! I hate the love story novels!!
when you are deeply in love, you basically refuse any other ways for love, it feels like everyone deserves to be loved the way you are loved.
It's "just nice" kind of books.
...more
Lastoadri
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Simple, beautiful, intimate and delicate..
My only problem was with the translation. I think the original language must have been much better.. but yet worth reading.
Dania Saad
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
that's what I call an ''elegant'' book
really enjoyed reading it.
...more
Chu Uyen Dinh Diệp
This book has added a color of delicacy to my summer!
Pauline G
The book is well written, David Foenkinos has the power to combine dream and reality in an clearly offbeat style. A beautiful love story with endearing characters.
Moushine Zahr
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the first novel I've read from French author David Foenkinos.

The novel's subject is about the too often written about: relationship between a woman and a man, romance...In this book, the author wrote about a too common subject with a different approach and using his own style. While at the beguinning, readers are thought that the story is about one couple, the author derails the story to another relationship of the wife with another man. The author used humour, adds a small chapter to a
...more
Eva
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
How to review this book? I wouldn't say it's badly written or has a bad storyline. I liked the grief portion and the relatively slow build of the romance. I liked both Markus and Nathalie.
I had two main problems with this book though. The first is the predictability. I saw everything coming and was thus very bored throughout. I wrestled my way through for French class, but I definitely would've DNF'd it if I could. Well actually, I would have never picked it up. My second problem was Charles. He
...more
Ehly
Apr 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow I hated this book. I don't even have any energy left to properly review it.

1. It's boring. 2. It's sexist. 3. Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope level 100. Need I say more? 4. Seriously, everyone is in love with Nathalie and her "feminity". 5. This book was practically screaming at me "I was written by a man!!!!!". 6. Pretty sure there were some racists comments? Also this weird ableist sentence? I don't even wanna check back to make sure I'm not mistaken this is how fucking aweful the book is, I
...more
Tessa
Loved the writing but the rest of the book was forgettable.
Sarah Shaheen
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
"But you need to have lived years in nothingness to understand how a person can suddenly become frightened by a possibility." ...more
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David Foenkinos (born 28 October 1974) is a French author and screenwriter. He studied literature and music in Paris. His novel La délicatesse is a bestseller in France.A film based on the book was released in December 2011, with Audrey Tautou as the main character.

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“But you need to have lived years in nothingness to understand how a person can suddenly become frightened by a possibility.” 55 likes
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