Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Book: Le Voisin by Valentine Day

The title Le Voisin translates to 'the neighbour' and as the title suggests, this book is in French (as far as I am aware there is no English version available but I don't know that for sure).

Valentine is an erotic fiction writer, who is surprised when her new downstairs neighbour returns her cat and she discovers that he is a very attractive student. Over drinks to say thank you, they discuss writing and Marc agrees to rewrite one of Valentine's erotic scene in his own style. Once he has done this, and they've been on a bad date, things start to get steamy between the two of them and new bonds are formed...

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon

Ok first a note on why I read this. My Mum keeps getting at me to read more French to keep my level of reading up, so I figured that the erotic fiction genre would be fairly easy to read (not that I'll tell her that that is what I've been reading), and will help to get my confidence up before I attempt anything more meaty. I was proved to be right, I found this easy going for my level of French (though I won't advise it to anyone under my level, business proficiency, on top of me having lived in Paris), though I did learn some new words for body parts, not all of them being sex related words either! (Though I can now replace the word 'le zizi' with a much better sounding word...I'll leave you to guess what that means!).

Also, potentially useful French phrase that I have now learnt, goes as follows;
Que j'avais bien écrit un putain de livre.
Apologies in advance for the swearing (well to the French speakers, just apologies for the swearing), the literal translation of the above phrase goes to; 'that I had just written a fucking book'. Knowing how the French actually use putain, I am of the opinion that un putain de livre just means an erotic book, but I have no way of knowing if I am actually right!

One thing that I noticed about the book was that it had far more of a storyline to it than its English counterparts, and the descriptions of sex were very minimal, happening all of twice. Of course there is a chance that I missed some subtle innuendos and other such references due to reading in my second language, but I'm pretty sure the event only happened twice. And when it did it was over quickly and not particularly detailed.

Ultimately, how very French to focus on the romance! I'll be looking into the authors other books for more French practice!