2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
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Book Review: Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain

My goodness but I LOVE Antoine Laurain’s stories!! They are magically written – so evocative of time and place and with such delightful characters… He is incredible – his stories leap off the page and offer such lovely insights into humanity, without ever feeling preachy or like they are doing anything other than relating a story. And his translator is a marvel also. Jane Aitken has produced the translations of each of his books that I’ve read and each and every time I am amazed at her ability to take a complex, idiom-rich language like French and translate not only the story but the feel into an English that is comprehensible and gorgeous to read. I tip my hat to both…

This time the indomitable Laurain takes on time travel, in his own unique voice. The key is a bottle of Beaujolais (of course!) and the resultant transportation of four relative strangers into 1954 Paris is quirky, funny, poignant, and beautifully described. If ever there was a time to be in Paris, this seems to have been it – the deprivations and damages of the Second World War are finally fading, the cultural scene was rich with marvelous and unique characters in the art and cinematic worlds, and there was a sense of optimism and joie de vivre that Laurain captures perfectly. He offered just enough standard time travel fare to satisfy the sci-fi geek in me, while handling each element with his own unique blend of wry wit in such a manner as to keep it also a purely Laurain-ian novel.

This was an absolute delight to read. I finished it in a day because I couldn’t make myself put it down. At this point I’d likely read his grocery list (can you even imagine the brilliant things he might put on there??); fortunately it hasn’t come to that yet, because he is a prolific writer who manages to keep devising original and thoroughly entertaining tales on a regular basis. Thank goodness for all of us dedicated readers!

My review copy was provided by Meryl Zegarek Public Relations. The opinions expressed herein are entirely my own and were not at all affected by said provision. I was simply delighted to be able to read it early! The book releases in the U.S. on June 20, 2019.

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