by Francoise Sagan
Cecile is a teenage girl spending the summer with her father in a villa in the south of France. His mistress Elsa is there as well and Cecile sinks into the relaxed atmosphere from the moment she arrives. Her father treats her more like a friend than a daughter and allows he allows his love life to play out in front of her. Anne, a former friend of her mother’s, comes to visit and a romance sparks between her and Cecile’s father. The
This book is part of the Penguins Great Loves series. Each edition in this series comes with a gorgeous cover and I buy them whenever I see them in bookstores. That’s how I first heard of this book. It’s a strange little tale, but one that sweeps you right along.
Cecile and her father see themselves as people fated to be alone. They push others away if they get close at all. Their immaturity and selfishness hurt those around them and they constantly long for whatever they don’t have. They both use the people who love them to further their gain. Even at the end of the book we see that despite the dire circumstances, they haven’t really changed.
Although the book is slim, the narrator is convincing. She feels like a real teenage girl, making selfish decisions, changing her mind in a moment, not thinking about the consequences of her actions, etc. She is jealous of her father’s attentions and at the same time is distant from him. I think the most impressive part of the book is that the author was only 18 years old when she wrote this.
BOTTOM LINE: A quick summer read for a lazy day in the sun. The eerie tone of the book will leave you with an air of loneliness after you finish.
“Certain phrases fascinate me with their subtle implications.”