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The Idea of Love Paperback – 30 Jul 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (30 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141030593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141030593
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A wonderfully complex and original novel...the writing is so inventive and has such an alluring energetic zeal...utterly fresh and convincing...an enormous delight (Independent)

Engaging...it is hard to stop turning the pages...arresting...fizzes with talent (Sunday Times)

A fascinating story that examines the different ways in which people face the harsh realities of love gone wrong (Tatler)

An unforgettable study of the dark side of the mind (The Times)

Written with bite and edge (Eve)

About the Author

Louise Dean is the author of two previous novels: Becoming Strangers, which was awarded the Betty Trask Prize in 2004, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award, and This Human Season. She lives in Kent and has three children.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have read all three of Louise Dean's novels and found The Idea of Love as Insightful, hard hitting and enthralling as both Becoming Strangers and The Human Season. As with her previous two books, Lousie holds no prisoners with regards to some of life's sad truths but somehow manages, despite taking the reader on a pretty depressing journey at times, to provide humour and hope. The characters are incredibly well drawn and painfully real as are their dilemmas and the writing is beautifully understated. From the very first page I found myself hooked and read it in a record three days. I would urge anyone who has got as far as reading this review to buy the novel and, if you haven't already, go back and read Dean's other two novels immediately afterwards.
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Format: Paperback
Richard, who works for an international pharmacy company, moves with his French wife Valerie and son Max to live in an idyllic French setting just outside a small village. The English and Dutch ex-patriot crowd have a heavy presence in the Var and they soon make friends, though they are closest to an American, Jeff and his English wife Rachel who has just had a baby daughter, Maude. Jeff is the protégé of his eccentric boss, who runs a New York Advertising Agency, and is supervising the building and fitting out of a grand and beautiful house which the wealthy boss may, or may not, use for holidays.

Richard's pharmaceutical job takes him all over Europe and then into Africa, and it is here that he comes up against the dangers inherent in treating all cultures alike in the market-driven imperatives of drug proliferation. A side-plot also involves Rachel's desire to adopt an African child - and again, wealthy westerners are brought up against some uncomfortable truths about the continent which does not fit in with their naïve, if generous assumptions. This adoption side-plot though, feels rather pitch-forked in as an `issue' and is a less convincing element as a result.

The novel then moves back to life in the Var where Richard has a sudden epiphany, partly caused by his African experiences, but also by the realisation that his son has been growing up a stranger to him and he must face profound doubts about his marriage. The consequences play out with deeply affecting realism, not least for adolescent Max.

The novel tackles modern evils that masquerade as cure-alls, but weaved skilfully and inexorably with questions about the terrors that assault the lover no less than those betrayed by love. This is a beautifully constructed and artfully written book.
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Format: Paperback
"The Idea of Love" is a fabulously written perfect Summer read. Set predominantly in the South of France it charters the trials and tribulations of various families. Starting off seemingly idyllic, their lives start to change as marriage problems and self doubt creep in.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I was never quite sure where it was going to take me. If you have enjoyed Louise Dean's other books, you'll be sure to love this one.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Louise Dean is naturally gifted, witty and a good architect who designs the novel for readers so that life in it is a pleasure! She ( I assume knowingly ) tells the story so that as you read the words on the page, they create your own movie in your brain. Not only the immediate sensation of the book is good, but also is the after taste. Her novels should bear an "addictive" warning!
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