A Partisan's Daughter Paperback – 29 Jan 2009
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"A triumph - a finely executed little masterpiece" (Daily Mirror)
"It's a glory...intensely moving...It's a wise and moving novel, perfectly accomplished. It shows that no life is ordinary. It shines fresh light on the nature of love" (Guardian)
"Sublimely funny and moving...by the time I'd finished this sleek little novel I'd laughed out loud numerous times and, eventually, cried. That's as true a testimony to a book's loveliness as I know" (Independent)
"A striking and wise novel, deceptively slight yet emotionally profound" (New Statesman)
"This is a silk stocking of a novel: fragile, light - and yet possessed of surprising tensile strength...making it look this simple is a real art" (The Times)
A beautifully wrought and unlikely love story, shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award: 'Sublimely funny and moving...by the time I'd finished this sleek little novel I'd laughed out loud numerous times and, eventually, cried.' IndependentSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Looking in hindsight at the first few pages, it's misleading. De Bernières introduction provokes a tonal feeling of sexual deviancy and promiscuity due to his prolific referencing to prostitution. The story starts with Chris, a middle-aged man who is trapped in a burnt out marriage. Chris recounts the story of a friend who has told of his experiences with a prostitute. From here De Bernières moves onto Chris' own `experience'. However, Chris' encounter is far from the stories of his friend. He befriends Roza, a Serbian Partisan's Daughter mistaken to be a prostitute, who, instead of having sex with Chris, takes him on a different journey every time they meet. De Bernières descriptive approach enables the reader to fully engage with the story due to his ability to sparingly flesh-out the story, leaving enough for the reader to apply their own unique subjective imagery. Over a long period of time, and with each visit, Roza tells Chris her life story. However, one is never sure whether Chris is there for the stories or there to see Roza; and as the story progresses, it becomes transparent that Chris isn't sure either.
A Partisan's Daughter is written in the form of memoirs, and interchanges from narrator to narrator. De Bernières personal approach lets the reader make their own decision on the characters, rather than an overt third person narrative that can cause detachment, it feels as if the narrators are talking directly to the reader.Read more ›
A Partisan's Daughter left me deep in thought and ever since putting it down everything else has seemed dull. I would certainly recommend it, but a book is a very personal thing to experience and therefore I offer my opinion only; no critical analysis of style or prose.
Oh, and I only had to reach for the dictionary twice!
It is like eaves'dropping on an intimate conversation which is really none of our business. Perhaps this intimacy hightens the drama ,humour and urgency to finish the book in one sitting. The lives of the two narrators unfold:The lonely sexually frustrated middle aged man; the young Yugoslav of the title with her roller coaster background of romance, abuse and hurt. Through their conversations we watch their love develop but will it be consumated?
At the end we know who Chris is , but who is The Partisans Daughter?
Back in the 70's and mirroring the country's political crisis in his personal circumstances, Chris is a forty-something travelling salesman who has pretty much given up on the likelihood of any more pleasure let alone excitement in his life, which definitely includes sex with his disinterested wife. One evening, for no apparent reason and seemingly quite out of character, he somehow finds himself sub-consciously in kerb-crawling mode and cack-handedly tries to pick up a girl in North London who he mistakenly decides is on the game. That girl is Roza, one-time hostess-come-prostitute (so Chris might be excused his error), Serbian daughter of one of Titos's partisans and currently inhabitant of a derelict property in Archway. Sequentially confused and then amused by Chris's blunder, and subsequently having put Chris right about her current circumstances, Roza nonetheless gets into his car and, in wonderfully direct and east-European English, tells him to take her home, it is, after all, the least he can do. He dutifully and shamefacedly does as ordered, from which encounter blossoms an acquaintance, leading to a deliciously slow-burning friendship leading to a wonderful Arabian-Nights tale of Roza's life and Chris's fall into basic infatuation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Typical Lois de Bernieres a love that is going no where, or is it? You can never be quite certain what will happen as you slowly go through life in the raw..Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Adore Louis de Bernieres' writing but I found this one just did not hit the right spot for me. I couldn't engage with the main protagonists at all as they seemed very two... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Cassandra
I love de Bernières' writing style; it flows beautifully and leaves me completely engrossed.
Chris is stuck in a mundane existence and the exotic and alluring Roza... Read more