Friday, November 20, 2020

A Family Affair by Nadine Bismuth

 I quite enjoyed this book. It is by a French Canadian author and is translated from the original French. It is an excellent translation as it is easy to read and the language does not feel forced at all.

The central character is Magalie, a kitchen designer and mother of a young girl. Magalie discovers her partner, Mathieu, is cheating on her and decides to have an affair, essentially for revenge. She first gets involved with her business partner, Olivier. While they are compatible and there are truly no strings attached it ends when Olivier's wife gets pregnant and Magalie discovers one of their other colleagues knows about them.

She then gets involved with an even more unlikely man, Guillame, the divorced son of her widowed mother's new boyfriend. Guillame is a police officer who shares custody of his teenaged daughter with his ex. He is taken with Magalie, but has absolutely no idea how to go about getting her attention which leads to some humorous scenes.

The relationships between Magalie's mother and her boyfriend and Mathieu and his girlfriend are also explored, making the book a rather in depth look at various couples - how they interact with each other and with others around them.

Overlaying the personal action is a news story about a woman who seemingly vanished from the parking lot of a local shopping mall. This puts all of the women in the book on edge, but Magalie and her colleagues are particularly troubled as their office overlooks the park where the missing woman's boyfriend was apparently playing soccer when she disappeared, thus giving him an alibi.

As the novel progresses, the mystery of the missing woman is resolved, but Magalie's life seems even messier. Which makes the book very realistic.

I quite enjoyed this book.

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