Beside the sea by veronique Olmi

Veronique Olmi has written numerous books and plays beside the sea (Bord de mer ) was her debut novel and won the alain fournier prize in france ,this is her first novel to be published in english ,the story follows a unnamed mother with her two sons Kevin and stan(these are the names in the french version and not anglianized).

Kevin wanted his pyjamas ,his hotel pyjamas ,the ones with Mickey mouse on on them , and its funny how it reassured him putting them on ,they smelt like home , he said  .Well its really worth the trouble taking them away !I thought , but the smell cheered me up , too, it smelt of my washing powder and of damp ,the smell of my little boy ,I put my head against his neck ,necks are the softest bit on a child .

early on in the book staying at hte hotel by the seaside .


 On a trip to the seaside in the usual french fashion in summer when the hoards decamp from the city to the coast ,staying at a small hotel ,they spend day by the beach and on amusments mother taking good care of the boys but there is always a sense of some forbodding may be the mother is to careful ,the real world is a scary place,the book is narrated by the boys mother a lady that as the story unfolds over the 110 pages get more unbalenced leading to the shocking climax of the book .This is the first of the peirne titles no1 .In what Mekie the publisher calls movie books a book short ,yet touching at the same time ,so the reader can sit and read within  a couple of hoours ,it would also make a great commute book I d imagine small easy for a jacket pocket or small bag ,now this story is like a film from the kitchen sink era of films in the late 50 and 60 ‘s ,ordniary life but with extraordniary events happening within those lives .Also the french film le boucher has a similar feel to this novel ,first off everything seems ok the main charcater seems ok on the surfacebut like the mother in this book hides a very dark secret .the lack of detail like the mothers name actual setting dosen’t stop this story flowing off the page ,the beauty of the writing is in the description of the boys and the mothers internal fellings . Amanda my wife wants to read this book too which is nice she mainly reads true life books .

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. farmlanebooks
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 16:27:14

    I’m really pleased to see so many people reading and enjoying this book!

    I would advise against reading it on the commute though – unless you like crying in public 😉


    • winstonsdad
      Jun 28, 2010 @ 19:46:19

      maybe Jackie ,it is absorbing read and on a busy train I d imagine that is what you’d need ,all the best stu


  2. amymckie
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 17:27:18

    I can’t wait to read this book, and am so happy to have a copy here. Everyone is mentioning the sense of foreboding which has me expecting… something bad!… to happen when I read it. I hope the hype doesn’t disappoint, though I don’t expect that it will!


  3. Tom C
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 07:50:53

    A great review – I’m sure Amanda would like this one as its very much in the style of “real life”. I think its a fine novel and a credit to Peirene Press


  4. gina
    Jul 04, 2010 @ 17:52:05

    I have a weakness for French Lit. I’ll be adding this to my TBR pile!


  5. Trackback: my bbaw post « Winstonsdad's Blog
  6. Trackback: I put my head against his neck, necks are the softest bits on a child « Pechorin’s Journal
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June 2010


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