BOOK REVIEW: Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
Bonjour Tristesse is something of a cult classic and I'd been wanting to read it for a while. If I'd known how short it was, I might have added it to my 'to be read' pile a lot sooner! When it came out in 1953 it caused something of a scandal, and Francoise Sagan is actually a pen name (inspired by Proust) which the author adopted to protect her family's privacy.
French seventeen-year old Cecile and her father Raymond are very close, almost weirdly so. They're on holiday together on the French Riviera, enjoying the sun in the day and the nightclubs at night, when Raymond invites Anne, an old friend of Cecile's (long-dead) mother, to stay. His girlfriend Elsa, who is also staying with them, is less than impressed, as is Cecile - and she launches a plan to get rid of Anne which has a far worse outcome than she ever could have anticipated...
To say this novel seems to be so revered, I found it a little lacking in... something. I didn't really care about any of the characters. The writing and observations were at times very good, but the book is so small (just 108 pages) that there's little depth. The ending is a bit shocking, and left me feeling unsettled, and the book is a good read.
But I was expecting to love it, and I didn't. C'est la vie.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Like this? Try The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.