Whispering in French brings to mind words of love, like ‘je t’aime’, but this is not that book. This is a book about love, but rather love in its different forms. Love between family, friends, for a village, even between a cat and a hedgehog.
It Took Awhile
I initially thought I would not review this book, as it was a true slow starter for me, so much so I almost gave up on it. But something kept saying, “go on, read a bit more”. And I did. And I was glad I did.
The main difficulty for me was the main character. She starts off complaining and doesn’t seem to want to stop. Just not my type of heroine to a story. But as the book progresses, so does she. It’s subtle. In fact it took me a few chapters to realise she was no longer getting on my nerves. Maybe it made me appreciate the transitions of the book all the more.
The Plot Thickens
As the book progresses you are introduced to more and more characters, many given their own voice style, even chapter. Favourites ensued and I wanted to read more simply to read more from some of the particular characters.
Also, what I truly enjoyed was, it was not predictable. There are a few plot points where you think, ‘ah ha, I know how this will turn out’. And then it doesn’t, or sometimes the journey there is not as expected.
Whispering in France
I picked up this book partly because of its title (when in France and all that), but more because it was based in France. As a transplant, I love seeing this country through others eyes, whether locals or tourists, expats or dreamers. Sophia Nash falls into a few of these areas which is what I think gives particularly flavoursome, and often uncomfortably realistic, voices to many of the main characters.
It takes place in southern France, but the Atlantic side, a much more dramatic background to the heat of the usual Mediterranean location. Not an area I know well, so I also enjoyed the varied taste of this area as the story unfolded. (Though many of its characters are ubiquitous to France.)
This was a slow manoeuvre through life read, which caught me up more and more as it went along. (Maybe why its called ‘Whispering’ rather than stampeding?) By the end I was hoping for a part 2, which is a recommendation in itself.
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