4 hours ago
Sunday, June 20, 2010
The Lovers by Vendela Vida
Summary borrowed from Goodreads
Twenty-eight years ago, Peter and Yvonne honeymooned in the beautiful coastal village of DatÇa, Turkey. Now Yvonne is a widow, her twin children grown. Hoping to immerse herself in memories of a happier time—as well as sand and sea—Yvonne returns to DatÇa. But her plans for a restorative week in Turkey are quickly complicated. Instead of comforting her, her memories begin to trouble her. Her vacation rental's landlord and his bold, intriguing wife—who share a curious marital arrangement—become constant uninvited visitors, in and out of the house.
Overwhelmed by the past and unexpectedly dislocated by the environment, Yvonne clings to a newfound friendship with Ahmet, a local boy who makes his living as a shell collector. With Ahmet as her guide, Yvonne gains new insight into the lives of her own adult children, and she finally begins to enjoy the shimmering sea and relaxed pace of the Turkish coast. But a devastating accident upends her delicate peace and throws her life into chaos—and her sense of self into turmoil.
With the crystalline voice and psychological nuance for which her work has been so celebrated, Vendela Vida has crafted another unforgettable heroine in a stunningly beautiful and mysterious landscape.
The title of this book rather frightened me. I thought maybe this could end up being a raunchy book about two lovers. Not so at all and I was so thankful for that!
The story revolves around Yvonne who has recently lost her husband and is trying to come to terms with her grief. She goes to Turkey where they honeymooned only to find that Turkey has changed and so has Yvonne. Yvonne has no problems making new friends in Turkey and befriends a young boy who does not speak English and the estranged wife of the man who owns the home she is renting. I thought Yvonne was more at ease with these new friends than with her own children. There were times in this book that I was very afraid for Yvonne and the danger of traveling alone in a country and not being able to communicate with everyone. Vendela Vida did an excellent job making me feel Yvonne's pain and confusion. She portrayed Yvonne as the typical American who needs to fix everything and in many cases makes it much worse. I could so relate in that aspect! I loved the setting of Turkey. It is a setting I am not very familiar with and one I have not read much about. I'm interested in more stories set in the area. I do feel the abrupt ending works well for this short book. At first I wanted more but then decided I was very satisfied with the ending. I would recommend this book. Don't let the title frighten you off!
I would give this book 4 1/2 stars! I'll also be looking for more titles from Vendela Vida as she is a new to me author.
Thank you to Greg at Ecco for providing this ARC for review.