3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Like an 'Amelie' for Grown-Ups?... Absolutely!,
This review is from: Delicacy (Paperback)
Natalie and Francois meet by chance on the street; Francois says something complimentary to Natalie, they go for a drink and Francois thinks to himself that this is the girl he will marry. And they do get married; life is good and both Francois and Natalie are happy and fulfilled - that is until Francois gets knocked over while out jogging and dies a few days later, leaving Natalie stunned and totally bereft. (Please note -I am not trying to spoil the story, the reader learns that Francois dies very early on in the book).
When Natalie returns to her office three months later, her boss, Charles, lets her know that he finds her very attractive, but Natalie clearly explains to him that she is not interested in anyone else, and she really isn't - until one day some time later, on impulse, she passionately kisses a colleague, Markus, and then carries on as if nothing has happened. For Natalie cannot explain the kiss, there is nothing to say: "The kiss was like modern art". But for Markus, a tall, diffident Swedish young man with an endearing off-beat sense of humour, her kiss means everything and he sets out to win Natalie's heart.
This is a rather extraordinary novel and one which I thoroughly enjoyed - it says on the front copy of my edition that this book is like an 'Amelie' (Amelie [DVD] ) for grown-ups and I would totally agree with that description. If you like well-ordered, sensible stories then you may find this book a little disconcerting, especially the very short chapters - some of them covering just a line or two; for example one chapter just informs the reader of the distance from Paris to Moscow; another lists the discography that John Lennon may have produced had he not died; and yet another gives examples of telephone numbers from another century. In fact reading this review back, I wonder whether if someone else had written it and I hadn't read the book, I might think this story would be rather too odd to enjoy - but it really isn't. I found this novel an absolutely charming, amusing and effortless read and, as it has now been made into a film, I shall look forward to seeing it on DVD.