This is my latest read, although I read the French translation, Rose, and this is definitely a good book. First of all, I must say I feel like I live in a cave, for I never heard of the author until now and I borrowed the novel in my local library by chance. As it turns out, I have found in several online sources she is one of the most read European writers…
The topic did not really convince me: a sixty-something woman fighting for her house in Paris; did not sound that thrilling. However the period, the Second Empire, caught my attention and flipping through the pages, I realised the novel was rather well-documented. Not quite historical, but sufficiently thought-through to avoid any anachronisms.
And I was not disappointed – the depicted life took me almost immediately on board, with little description and minimal characterisation, yet just enough to identify the characters and the life Rose could have lived.
The story starts lightly, however darker topics are brought up along the pages – I won’t tell you more.
The real highlight was the translation. I could have sworn it was an original text. Raymond Clarinard did a wonderful job, using his extensive word power to find the perfect words, matching the mood of the book. After all, he translates for the Courrier International, but there are so many so-called good translators that deliver mediocre work that this translation deserves the praise.
More information (in French) can be found here.