Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Breaking Away - Anna Gavalda

Garance is traveling to a family wedding in the car with her brother Simon and his wife Carine. Along the journey, their sister Lola joins them. We share in Garance’s thoughts about Carine and her reminisces about childhood times with Lola, and Simon and fourth sibling Vincent, about their various alliances as they grew up,  and her thoughts about her siblings now. They arrive for Hubert’s wedding, but then a snap decision is made and the three of them, minus Carine, drive off to visit their brother Vincent, and with the four of them briefly reunited, together they enjoy some time feeling unfettered by everyday life, before returning to it. They reminisce and chat happily about times past, and then about their lives now, and it is evident how much Garance loves them all, and how much this chance reunion means to her.

This short novel is translated from the French original. It is a very short work for a novel by today’s standards, more what I would have called a novella, and there are no chapters, just one long narrative, and it works here. The size and shape of the little hardback book itself is delightful. An enjoyable quick read with some delightful insights into human nature.



  1. Sometimes quiet books like this about everyday life and characters, are really the ones to treasure. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Sam thanks for the lovely comment, I think you make a really good point about a read like this.


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