Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Helen
Read from October 29, 2014 to April 14, 2016
<- my cover
Description: A Russian princess, a refugee from the Bolsheviks, abandoned by a faithless husband, flees with her child to France, where she is subsequently found half-naked on a riverbank next to a body of a man with a terrible wound on his head.
Translated by Geoffrey Strachan who notes that Makine was born and brought up in Russia but this novel is written in French.
Opening quotes by Dostoyevsky and Proust.
Opening: Those that come first lie in wait for his words like mere eavesdroppers. Those that follow seem to appreciate something more in them. And they can be easily identified: there are fewer of them than the merely inquisitive ones and they come alone. They dare to draw a little closer to the tall old man as he slowly patrols the labyrinth of avenues, and they leave later than the first comers.
This is a tale of Russian emigres in France. Dreamy prose delivered circumlocutionally, and in ever decreasing spirals backwards through time. One for lit lovers.