Friday, 9 February 2018

Bonjour Tristesse, Françoise Sagan

When you are seventeen years old everything is black and white to you. This also goes for Céline, who is on holiday with her father Raymond in the South of France for the Summer.

Her father and Céline have a good bond, but he does not set a good example for her, as he is hardly a parent and is more concerned with his latest girlfriend.

When Anne, an old friend of Céline's late mother comes to visit, Raymond is so taken with her that he ditches his last girlfriend and asks Anne to marry him.

Céline knows on one hand that living with Anne will be good for them as Anne has much more sense and class than they have, but on the other hand she resents that their lives will change.

So Céline comes up with a plan do drive her father and Anne apart, desperate enough to work and ruthless enough to be final.

Françoise Sagan published this book when she was only eightteen years old. And it is hard to imagine that somebody who is almost still a teenager could have written such clean and almost elegant prose.

Céline is not a very nice girl, but at the same time you cannot blame her for how she behaves, her father gives her no example at all. I loved how the novel is set up and you know something will happen, although in a way Céline never wanted.

It is no wonder that Bonjour Tristesse is considered a classic, and it is still as fresh as though it had been written yesterday.

Originally published in 1954

8 comments:

  1. I want to read this one based solely on the age of the author. 18? That’s crazy!

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    Replies
    1. I was very surprized at how well this was written en how 'complete' the story feels. I am not sure if I am making myself clear, but I mean to say that it felt like she already wrote a lot of books.

      I hope you enjoy it!

      Kind regards,

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  2. It is hard to believe that she was so young when she wrote it, and that it's written so well. Makes me wish my library had this book so I could read it, too. :)

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    1. It is a shame sometimes to have to depend on the library! Perhaps they can order it for you from another library?

      Kind regards,

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    2. I'll have to give that a try. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky. :)

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  3. I have just started reading 'Un certain sourire' which was apparently her second work. I'm reading it in German, my copy is from 1958 (it's obviously a pre-loved book that I picked up somewhere). I have not come very far yet (third chapter), but I do like it. It's so tpyical of its times somehow, yet I can totally relate to the story. It reminds me of old French films - there is a special something about them that makes them unique. Same goes for this book. I will try 'Bonjour tristesse' some time, too - I have heard many good things about it.

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    Replies
    1. And I wqill try to get a Dutch copie of the book you are reading. It is great to see how these older books are still so relatable and readable. it says a lot about the quality of the author I think!

      Kind regards,

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