Book Review: Vida's 'The Lovers'
MICHELE NORRIS, host:
It's a familiar story in fiction - the modern woman, perhaps divorced or widowed, almost certainly lonely, travels to Europe and finds herself caught up in a life-changing romantic adventure. In her latest novel, "The Lovers," Vendela Vida takes this old plot and makes it new.
Alan Cheuse has this review.
ALAN CHEUSE: Yvonne, a widowed American woman, sets out for a stay in the Turkish coast. Her plan: alone for a week and then her children meet up with her.
The week alone begins quietly. She meets the wealthy man whose house she's renting. Then his wife pops in for a visit, and Yvonne learns that the man's flashy mistress normally lives in the house, just your normal sophisticated story of misery and desire.
Yvonne, as she sees herself, had once been the kind of person who sought adventures, and she wanted to be that person again. She finds solace in a friendship at the nearby beach, in the person of a young kid, whom despite their language difference she befriends.
She buys the shells the boy dives for. He gives her some hope for the resuscitation of her deepest emotions still draped in black because of her husband's death.
When the boy suffers a deadly mishap, Yvonne's world begins to spin with as much fervor as the dervishes she witnesses at a performance in a rocky inland Turkish town.
By the time the week is out, she knows more adventure than she ever bargained for, and this quiet book about an ordinary suffering woman, a book that has been building and building with every turn of the page, leaves you in the end a bit like that - spinning, dizzied by the world around you.
NORRIS: The book, "The Lovers," by Vendela Vida. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, teaches at George Mason University.
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