Sunday, 14 November 2010

Bonjour Tristesse

Title: Bonjour Tristesse

Author: Francoise Sagan

Number of pages: 108

Started: 13 November 2010

Finished: 14 November 2010

Opening words:

A strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave and beautiful name of sadness. In the past the idea of sadness always appealed to me, now I am almost ashamed of its complete egoism. I had known boredom, regret, and at times remorse, but never sadness. Today something envelopes me like a silken web, enervating and soft, which isolates me.

Plot summary:

Cecile leads a hedonistic, frivolous life with her father and his young mistresses. On holiday in the South of France, she is seduced by the sun, the sand and her first lover. But when her father decides to remarry, their carefree existence becomes clouded by tragedy.

What I thought:

This was a rather brief book taking only two or three hours to read. The author was 19 when she wrote it but her writing was much more mature than her years. It was a well written book with an engaging plot of the havoc that a teenage girl can cause if she feels spurned – not by a lover, but by her father.

My only gripe about the book was that the introduction in the copy I read kept referring to the main character as Celine, when her name was Cecile. I am not sure if this was a typo or if the introduction writer was not quite the fan of the novella as she claimed to be.

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