THE FIRST THING YOU SEE – Gregoire Delacourt

 

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A young French woman, Jeanine Foucamprez, is a dead ringer for the gorgeous global star, Scarlett Johansson.  But what Jeanine desperately desires, is to be seen, appreciated and loved for who she really is. She knocks on the front door of Arthur Drefuss, small town garage mechanic, and changes his life forever.

A perfect week follows: simple unaffected happiness and young love. Amongst the heady bliss, dark fragments of  the couples’ past history emerges. Naturally this  can’t last. The end comes, as it always does. Life goes on, as it always does. The dark strands added texture to what otherwise would have been a romantic  meringue.

Being a French novel, it was quirky, witty and unusual; all of which I loved. It was refreshing to read about a normal ordinary person (Arthur, the mechanic). I’m tired of reading about sophisticated urbanites or struggling young wannabees, or disenchanted middle aged couples sabotaging their lives and marriages.  British and American novels often present these  stereotypes. What I didn’t like was the constant references to films and songs that meant nothing to me.  But this said, I enjoyed the book.  It was very French which was a welcome change.  Recommended read.

 

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