Friday, June 13, 2014

The Girl at the Lion d'Or

From the back cover:
A beautifully controlled and powerful story of love and conscience, will and desire which begins when a mysterious young girl arrives to take up a post at the seedy Hotel du Lion d'Or in a small French town in the mid-1930s.

Sebastian Faulks is a master storyteller. What else can I say? The story was beautiful, and compelling.  The writing was perfect and lyrical. Reading his sentences was a pleasure.

Anne herself had little vanity about her body, though sometimes she felt a vague gratitude towards it for what it had taken her through. When she looked at her ankles and feet, so soft they seemed almost unused, or gazed in the mirror at her dark eyes, which were unlined and full of light, she wondered where she carried her experiences.  Perhaps they lay stored in microscopic cells in her blood, or perhaps they lay waiting to ambush her in her mind.  The body itself seemed full of health and latent energy; the physical contrasts of girl and woman, still not quite resolved, gave it charm.

I've read only one other novel by Sebastian Faulks.  Birdsong is also a beautifully written, and powerful story.  It is perhaps his most well known and appreciated novel, and though I loved it, I could quite possibly love this subtle story a bit more.

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