It's been quite a while since i finished reading this wonderful book, but well, yes my book blogging back-log is still... impressive. One small book post step at a time is followed my some more to keep the back-log growing. Anyhow.
La Consolante - which is a term used in the game of pétanque (called 'boule' in Swedish), a consolation play - is Anna Gavalda 's fifth novel translated. The English title of the book is 'The Consolation Match', and yes, I suppose it may be a clever title but I love the Swedish one which is one of its own but says so much more about the book 'Lyckan är en sällsam fågel' ~ 'Happiness is a rare bird'.
I have to admit that I wasn't as mesmerized and grabbed by the story - a story about coming to terms with life choices, death, loss and love - from the first pages - as I have been with her previous books, -
the reason for not being able to stop reading was my pure and utter love for Gavalda's exquisite writing. The kind of writing that is actually able to turn one into tears just thinking about it, her perfect blend of immediacy, intimacy, nerviness (the positive kind), lightness, the intellectual reasoning, the talking-inside-myselfness, the poetry. Her stories are life, the reading about the dirtier, grubbier, sad, tragic parts of life is turned into joy because of her fantastic way with words.
But after some 250 pages I loved the story, the characters too.
I can't say I have read anything quite like her, and the writing style may definitely not appeal to everyone. Myself I find the blend of easy read and clever intellectualism simply beautiful. And in many parts the recognition factor is both liberating and frighteningly high. Thus leaving the books full of notes and scribbles. Which truly make her books the prime sort of reads.
Now I'm looking forward to her latest, short, novel 'L'Echappée belle' - En dag till skänks (A day given) to come out in pocket edition. Needless to say, if you haven't discovered Anna Gavalda by now - go out and do so. Immediately.
In the book is a quote by E.M. Forster - the man who wrote books that have been turned into some of my favourite movies, "A Room with a View" and "Maurice" - which is just heartbreakingly apt for all of us who dream about a better world. (And with the Swedish elections coming up in a few weeks even more so). Read and weep ~
"I believe in aristocracy, though -- if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secreat understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but power to endure, and they can take a joke."