Bonjour Tristesse

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bonjour Tristesse
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.”


JoAnn said...

I've had this on my radar as a Paris in July selection - sounds wonderful!

Karen K. said...

Great choice -- I've been thinking about this for Paris in July also!

Brona said...

I haven't seen the Penguin Love series - if the cover of this one is anything to go by, it's just as well their not available in Australia, as it could be very dangerous for my bank book!! I'll keep this one in mind for Paris in July though, since I read my planned book (all the Light We Cannot See) too early.

thecuecard said...

South of France tales can be addicting. The dad seems a bit of a jerk but perhaps I'm misreading your synopsis. cheers.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

JoAnn & Karen K - What is this Paris in July everyone is talking about? I need to check it out!

Brona - They are gorgeous! Here's what a few more of them look like...

thecuecard - Nope, he's definitely a jerk. I think it's a selfish, oblivious kind of jerk, not an intentional one.

Brona said...

Paris in July is hosted here -
Hope you can join us :-)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Brona - Thanks!!!