Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Life as it Comes - Anne-Laure Bondoux

Life as it Comes is about two sisters living in Paris. The eldest, Patty, an irresponsible free spirit, the younger, Mado, a brainy capable girl who is forced into the role of caretaker. Their parents died in an accident less than a year ago and the two girls are barely holding it together - and when Patty reveals that she is several months pregnant things begin to get even more undependable.

Even though Patty is two months from her due date the girls go on vacation to their cabin in the French countryside. At first their holiday is idyllic, they are relaxed, they meet the hot Dutch brothers staying in the next cabin over, they dance, they swim. But it soon comes to an end. The girls don't have a cell phone nor is the cabin equipped with a house phone. So when Patty goes into labor early, it is a very scary situation that the girls are forced to deal with on their own.

This book is about dealing with grief, family bonds, responsibility, betrayal, and redemption. It is translated from French and at first I had a bit of a hard time with the narrative because it sounded a bit off to me. (I read The Killer's Tears another of Bondoux's books and thought it was beautifully written - so I was surprised at first that the books had the same translator.) Regardless, the girls sounded French in the way they talked, so I think it worked for the book. Even though it appeared to me at first that it was a poor translation, in the end I decided the flow of the words were just supposed to sound French. Does that make any sense at all? My coffee maker is evil and didn't brew my coffee right. This is an ongoing problem and I'm fairly sick of it. I am getting rid of it this weekend once and for all. After which, of course, I'll be completely clear and concise in all my reviews :)

I liked the book, it was a fast read. There were several unbelievable plot points ***spoilers*** such as their ability to keep the summer home and apartment after their parents die (although this might just be my not understanding how things work in France), Mado delivering her sister's baby with little difficulty, Patty's turn-around in the end of the book where she becomes completely responsible. However, I did enjoy it and I think it would appeal to a wide audience.

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