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Girl At The Lion d'Or [Paperback]

Sebastian Faulks
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

18 Oct 1990
A beautifully controlled and powerful story of love and conscience, will and desire which begins when a mysterious young girl arrives to take up the post at the seedy Hotel du Lion D'Or in a small French town in the mid-1930s.

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Girl At The Lion d'Or + Charlotte Gray + The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (18 Oct 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099774909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099774907
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sebastian Faulks was born in April 1953. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1991, he worked as a journalist. His French trilogy - The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) - established him in the front rank of British novelists. UK sales of Birdsong exceed 2,500,000 copies, and for this novel he was named "Author of the Year" by the British Book Awards in 1995. It is regularly voted one of the nation's favourite books. Charlotte Gray has also sold over a million copies and was filmed with Cate Blanchett in the main part.

Product Description


"This moving and profound novel is perfectly constructed, and admirable in its configurations of place and period" (Times)

"He has reaffirmed the importance of character in the novel; his Anna and Hartmann are as real, as moving and convincing as Anna Karenina and Vronsky or Colette's Cheri and Lea. It is a novel to cherish and delight in" (Scotsman)

"I would urge those who appreciated John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman to try this one; they will not be disappointed. They might well think it superior" (Sunday Telegraph)

"[A] story of restrained emotions played out in a period setting among picturesque locations... Faulks gives every sign of being a real novelist, who thinks and feels through the written word" (Guardian)

"An unusual and moving novel in which courage and abnegation are pitted against illicit but total love...a poised and well-judged work" (Financial Times)

Book Description

A beautiful and moving novel about love and loss in France in the early twentieth century.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise 17 Mar 2003
Having read and enjoyed Birdsong and Charlotte Gray already, I for some reason wasn't expecting a great deal from The Girl at the Lion D'Or. I'm unsure why I thought this may be the case, but was pleased to realise my pre-conceptions were wrong.
The main characters, Anne and Hartmann are so convincing, I instantly became engrossed in this wonderful tale of desire, love and life itself. As always, SF sets a great emphasis on the political and historical context in which this story is set - France in the late 1930's.
I felt truly disappointed when I had to put the book down, and found it to be better than Charlotte Gray and almost as good as Birdsong - if you have enjoyed either of these, read it - if you have not read any other SF books, read it - it's now one of my favourite books and I am sure to read it again!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hints of brilliance to come 18 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Contrary to what some people seem to think, Birdsong was not a first novel. This book provides occasional flashes of what was to come in the Novel Faulks may spend his life trying to shake off.
It is a beautiful story, ably written by an author still working towards his best. Some of the 'set pieces' are sublime, some of the emotions are still with me two years after reading the book.
One thing I have always faulted Faulks for is his inability to end novels. 'Birdsong' ends weakly, and this literally just STOPS.
It is like being told the story by an old man in a cafe in provence who dies of a heart attack just as he is about to finish.
At least 'A Fool's Alphabet' had a natural ending at 'Z', but he can't only write on subjects that come with a ready made ending.
Overall The Girl at the Lion d'Or is probably the next best Faulks book for lovers of Birdsong. Worth while reading.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An endearing little story 15 Oct 2002
Having read all of Sebastian Faulk's books now I can safely say I enjoyed none more that this one. Songbird and Charlotte Gray ooze Faulk's charming narrative style while delivering a harrowing and touching look at the arcane terror of wartime. In the girl from the Lion d'Or the reader is treated once more to this sophistocated plot scheme and character development. Faulk's treatment of love and sexual desire is again eye-opening , mixing the power of the soul with the weakness of the flesh. The story is developed at a faster rate than Charlotte Gray and the main characters Ann and Hartmann are presented to the reader in a way that every nuance of theirs is understood. The plot may seem a little thin to those used to the flowing themes of Birdsong but perseverance leads to a rewarding read topped of with a heart-tugging ending.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crosses boundaries 22 Jan 2010
By Jane Baker VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wondrous. It makes you ache to read it. I was reminded of so much outstanding literature: Camus, Ishiguro, and this had shades of both. I could almost touch Charles and Anne as I read their story. I felt their pain and I felt the ambience of France as Anne walked the streets. A simple, age-old story with existentialist moments and thought-provoking sentiments about a loss of a generation in WW1 leaving the gap which caused so much mess in French Government of the time. Christine was hard and incomplete - as she was in herself. Moving and bewildering in the honesty of Charles and the determination of Anne to break the cycle of her background. Finding a novel to follow this will be difficult. I may just read "Birdsong" again. I feel lost already now that I've closed the book and it's over.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This was my first venture into the work of Sebastian Faulks, and upon finishing it today I immediatly purchased Birdsong. The Girl at the Lion d'Or is a beautifully written story. The simplistic plot is not the selling-point of this book; instead, Faulks's excellent lexical phrasing and characterisation make it an excellent read. I found myself developing a genuine interest in what would happen on the next page and was really pulled deeper and deeper into the story as I read. I was so moved when arriving at the end of the book- a sad and emotional conclusion. I do recommend this book to anyone- it is superb.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love and Loss 2 July 2011
Time stood still for me in a recognizable rural France when I read this book. A love story between Hartmann an older, married man, established in his career with a professional life to maintain and Anne the lonely footloose waitress .
The descriptions of France are matchless and the characters involved carry the story through to a 'Brief Encounter' style ending where the reader is left to consider the final outcome.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An author coming into brilliance 29 Oct 2010
A beautifully understated book, one reviewer described it as being like a Vermeer and it is very painterly with carefully deliniated characters. The scene is the small French village of Janvilliers, the time between the First and Second World Wars, and a young girl Anne come to take up the post of waitress at the hotel Lion D'Or traumatised by a loss unidentified until later on in the narrative but inextricably linked to the horrors of World War I and the slaughter of Verdun. She becomes drawn to Hartmann, recently married veteran living in his father's old manor house outside the town, and a gentle drama is drawn out backlit by the drama of France's road to Vichy and World War II, the quiet suffering of the millions of men that did make it back from the front and the memory of those who did not.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle
This is avery nice book. It is not spellbinding but a very gentle read which is easy to put down and pick up again later. Read more
Published 24 days ago by jeff
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Sebastian Faulks
I have read every book Sebastian Faulks has written. Whilst this is not 'Birdsong' or 'Charlotte Gray' standard it is still a very enjoyable read. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Holly74
3.0 out of 5 stars Girl at the lion d,or
Bit disappointed at the thinness of the book and the weak plot. I bought this as a follow up to Bird Song so it speaks for itself
Published 2 months ago by Linda jopson
4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual love story turns sour
I rate the book highly for it's sensitive and truthful rendering of an era, that of the 30's with an original twist at the end which left me with a bitter taste in the mouth so... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Artemistica
4.0 out of 5 stars opinion of edward hawksley
as a pre-owned book,good condition
+whats not to like about a sebastian faulks book
delivery at a local locker cannot be faulted
Published 5 months ago by edward hawksley
4.0 out of 5 stars Over shadowed
Beautifully written as you would expect from this writer. Unfortunately I read Birdsong first and it is such a piece of work that, for me, it rather overshadowed Girl at the Lion... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bunchie
3.0 out of 5 stars A dissapointing end
I really enjoyed this till the final page and then felt rather let down by the uselessness of it all
Published 6 months ago by D R Burrows
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic characters, beautifully written
As always, Sebastian Faulks turns a beautiful phrase. Sometimes he can get a little over verbose. His characters are gently flawed, which makes them realistic. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jean Acre
5.0 out of 5 stars Once I started it I couldnt put it down
Nice story, it could go on to a part 2. I would buy that too. Definately recommend it to others.
Published 8 months ago by Rooster
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read indeed, but it's not "Birdsong"
Delightful story but in my mind sits behind both Charlotte Grey and of course the fabulous Birdsong. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Cornuvia
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