Book #74: The Lover

Ah, Marguerite Duras’ The Lover. Yet another book that I have next to nothing to say about.

I’ve read reviews on Goodreads and other places, and it seems like a lot of people love it, but an equal amount of people didn’t really care for it or didn’t have much to say about it.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about it.

The basic plot is that a young French girl takes a much older Chinese lover while she and her family are living in Saigon. The story is told from the point of view of the girl as she reminisces about her adolescence and complex family life.

The girl’s life is restricted and controlled by her mother, and her dysfunctional family leaves much to be desired. Her lover is a well-off, established Chinese man whose family has strong connections. They start hooking up, and things (obviously) go awry.

The narrator’s voice is almost-disconcertingly removed. She describes events with arrow-sharp detail, while at the same time managing to make things very vague and unclear. She is distant and separate from the narrative, which is often disjointed.

This narrative style made it really hard to get a clear sense of what, exactly, was happening and hard to feel any sort of emotional investment in the story. I didn’t feel for the girl at all, and I didn’t really care what happened to anybody in the story.

In short, The Lover did absolutely nothing for me. At least now I know it’s behind me.

Rating: *
Up Next: LaBrava



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