Author: Olivier Bourdeaut –
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audiobook –
Genre: Fiction, Fable, A novel –
Overall rating: 5/5 –
Writing: 5/5 –
Duration: 3:42 (short) –
Narrator: Gibson Frazier –
Narrator/performance: 5/5 –
Translator: Regan Kramer ?/5 –
Performance errors: 0/5 –
Complexity/reading level: 5/5 –
“My father used to say that Mom was on a first-name basis with the stars in the sky, which seemed strange, because my mother never called anyone by their first name – not even me”.
While listening to this rendition I was sure that it was written in verse. What a feat, I thought, to translate a novel written in verse in French into a novel written in verse in English that may still be understood. I could not find the rhyme in the written novel, though. The book is not overly ambitious and the beauty of its form should not dissuade anyone from attempting to read it. There is perhaps too much of everything – too much cuteness, too much sadness, too much seriousness and too much madness. But it is all well-proportioned, like a Victorian gown. The author looks like someone you know. It is all very mysterious. I would recommend listening to this audiobook in the summer, over a good meal, with moths dancing over a lantern and a note of jasmine in the air, if possible. Oh, and you should also listen to the song first, as performed by Nina Simone. Knowing her life’s story may also help.
The book may be the main course but it should not be served without side dishes.
This cover is perhaps too simple for the rich texture of the writing and narration. However, with it being so reminiscent of a wine label, it actually gives a good glimpse into what lies ahead. This is a good cover, though not in my favorite style.
Cover Photo by Matheus Kohler on Unsplash