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The Lovers

by Alice Ferney

Reading this book was like warching a film in soft focus: the story of the affair between Pauline and Gilles, with insights into the relationships of their friends. I fell like an eavesdropper or voyeur at times. The writing style takes a bit of getting used to - long paragraphs with no speech marks - but it is beautifully written and very believable.

Extract

The mere thought of what was happening inside her made Pauline Arnoult blush: she was falling in love with the way a man looked at her. But this time she was opening her heart to a man in the knowledge she couldn't offer him her life - since her life had been offered and accepted elswhere. When her husband kissed her she responded to his kiss. Their love was tender and strong. This other thing was unceratin and rash. However pure, their love would still be illicit. It would have to be secret because it was illicit, untimely, perhaps even tragic. She didn't say to her husband: I'm going to meet a man who looks at me at school. She could never say to him: I've met a man who makes my heart pound. All she could do was conceal it from him. Would any man be willing to hear such things from the lips of a woman who shares his bed, who is carrying his future child? And yet her love for her husband was in no way affected. It wasn't a weakness in her marriage that had set this other man in her path. She was quite sure it wasn't that.
Translated by Helen Stevenson

Parallels

That Dangerous Age by Alexandra Campbell
Un Homme et Une Femme - the film
Strapline by Tiffane Dark
 

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