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The Lovers: A Novel

The Lovers: A Novel

Написано Vendela Vida

Озвучено Suzanne Toren


The Lovers: A Novel

Написано Vendela Vida

Озвучено Suzanne Toren

оценки:
3/5 (92 оценки)
Длина:
6 часов
Издатель:
Издано:
22 июн. 2010 г.
ISBN:
9780061978661
Формат:

Описание

From the acclaimed author of the 2007 New York Times Notable Book Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, comes a stunning novel about the love between husbands and wives, mothers and children.

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.

A HarperAudio production.

Издатель:
Издано:
22 июн. 2010 г.
ISBN:
9780061978661
Формат:

Об авторе

Vendela Vida is the award-winning author of six books, including Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty. Her new novel, We Run the Tides, will be published by Ecco on February 9, 2021. She is a founding editor of The Believer and coeditor of The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers and Confidence, or the Appearance of Confidence, a collection of interviews with musicians. She was a founding board member of 826 Valencia, the San Francisco writing center for youth, and lives in the Bay Area with her family.


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3.1
92 оценки / 16 Обзоры
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Отзывы читателей

  • (4/5)
    Got me. I have been waiting for VV to pull it all together, thought this won't quite make it, was blind-sided. This is her best, most complete yet. Worth it for the integration of time.
  • (4/5)
    An unusual story. And I have an idea that could be said about all her novels. I read this book after hearing her interviewed about another of her books and I found her interesting. Likewise this book is interesting but perhaps a little too much a 'head level' book rather than the 'heart level' that I prefer. That said, however, it's a story that can be read and understood at a surface level so although I'm sure there is a lot of subtle intellectual content I didn't get at all, I still found the story engaging enough. What I liked most was the way Vida presents her main character's thoughts and feelings as well as telling us the story of what she does. I'm interested in Turkey, as well, and that undoubtedly helped me engage with the story. It gave insights into what Turkish people might be like, in a way that sounded true, anyway. I notice my local library has another of Vida's books (The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty - the book about which I heard her interviewed) so I think I'll read that next before I decide whether to keep Ms Vida on my TBR list
  • (4/5)
    I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.In the aftermath of her husband's death, grieving widow Yvonne travels to Turkey where she and her husband had honeymooned 28 years before. Her plan is to spend some time alone reflecting on her marriage and the loss of her husband and then meeting up with her adult twins for a cruise. Her plans become complicated when she quickly becomes entangled in the lives of several people. She uncovers secrets about the man she is renting a house from. She becomes friends with the man's wife and forms an unlikely bond with her. She befriends an elderly woman who runs a yacht service with her husband. And, most poignantly, she befriends a young boy named Ahmet who sells shells at the local beach. Through these interactions, Yvonne gains new insight into herself and the lives of her children until a tragic accident throws everything into chaos.This is a short but affecting book not only about how we move through grief but also about how we define ourselves through relationships. As much as Yvonne longs to be alone with her memories and her thoughts, she cannot stop herself from connecting with other people and being affected by them. These strangers change the way she thinks about herself and her life in ways that she never imagined. While the accident will not come as a surprise, it is still very moving. Vida While some of the relationships in the book felt a little forced, the friendship between Yvonne and Ahmet was wonderful and the exploration of Yvonne's complex and difficult relationships with her addict daughter was also very well done.BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. This book will not appeal to everyone. It is very introspective and quiet with little action or major entanglements. Still, it manages to be affecting and provides a very interesting character in Yvonne.
  • (3/5)
    In The Lovers, Yvonne, 53, travels from her home in Burlington, Vermont to the Turkish town of Datça where she spent her honeymoon with her husband Peter, killed two years earlier in a hit-and-run accident. She was hoping to come to terms with the truth of her marriage - especially to remember again the happiness that characterized it at the beginning, and to emerge from the catatonic state in which she has been since Peter’s death:"…she had come to Datça to strip herself of these lies, to shed this grief. The grief and the lies were the same - one begot the other.”She finds that the small town of Datça had deteriorated, analogous to the way her marriage had. Much of the conflict between Yvonne and Peter was over their twins, Matthew and Aurelia. Matthew was “perfect” and the one on whom Peter bestowed his favor. Aurelia was damaged, subject to alcohol and drug addiction, and Peter seemed to blame Yvonne. Even when the children grew up and left the house, “they had grown so accustomed to resenting each other that they didn’t know how to stop.”In Turkey Yvonne encounters some rather eccentric people, such as the estranged wife Özlem of her proprietor; a local boy Ahmet who sells seashells to her; Ahmet’s sister; and another vacationing American couple. All of them serve to give insights about herself to Yvonne.Eventually, Yvonne gets some answers about her life, but they weren’t answers to the questions she came with; she had been blinded all along by the wrong questions.Discussion: This is a short novel, with spare but well-crafted writing. The primary theme seems to be the way in which we define ourselves through our relationships, and how these ideas of who we are and who the others are in our lives may get embedded in old patterns - almost like those paperweights of insects stuck in amber, that then go on to hold down our growth in the same fixed and stuck way. In addition, these definitions affect the evaluations of us by others; how does one escape such enmeshment? In the biggest metaphor of the book, an owl, bereft of its mate (owls are monogamous), becomes trapped in the house which Yvonne is renting. The owl eventually gets loose; whether Yvonne does too remains to be seen.Evaluation: This is a thought-provoking meditation on sense of self and the importance of relationships to one’s identity. The characters struck me as rather odd though; I didn't really warm up to them. Moreover, some of the plot developments are sort of enigmatic and/or get dropped. In addition, I found the ending to be a bit improbable. Nevertheless, I would recommend it for a book club, because it would definitely generate discussion.
  • (4/5)
    Yvonne, a widow, returns to the small Turkish village where she and her husband spent their honeymoon. Her daughter is an alcoholic; her son has just been proposed to by a wealthy woman. Yvonne is determined to find her way alone. But what happens in this village connects her to Turkey in ways she didn’t expect, including her conviction that she is responsible for a boy’s death. It is worth reading if only to question your own ability to be as independent and determined as Yvonne
  • (1/5)
    Setting interesting. Main character not. End of story. Next!
  • (3/5)
    Yvonne in Turkey. Still waiting for something exciting to happen
  • (4/5)
    Beautifully written quiet book. I enjoyed this - it's an introspective book from the point of view of a middle-aged, recently widowed woman who rents a house in Turkey where she and her husband honeymooned. It is her encounters with random people she meets, some by choice and some not, which shape the story. This book rang true for me and made me think.
  • (4/5)
    This is my first read of a Vendala Vida book. I am from the bay area and have read a couple of books by her husband, Dave Eggers. I liked this book. It got quickly into her feelings and I identified with how she viewed the world. As one who is very connected to his wife, it is always hard for me to read about someone losing a spouse so suddenly. As someone who travels a lot(currently I am living in Buenos Aires for 3 months), I had trouble with the number of Turks that spoke English. It was also hard to buy off on how quickly she got into and people got into each other's lives. But her feelings were real and her insights made me think a lot and after that is what fiction is about.
  • (4/5)
    really enjoyed this novel-- finale, especially, has a wonderful cinematic feel
  • (1/5)
    Sort of aimless...I kept waiting for the book to start, and as another review stated, I just didn't get it. I wouldn't recommend this book.
  • (3/5)
    What to say about The Lovers? It has been several weeks now, and I am still uncertain how I feel about it. If I am honest with myself, I think the true answer is that I just don't get it. I feel that the story that exists is not the one I was expecting. Rather than being about lovers, as the title would suggest, it is more about what Yvonne finding herself, examining her relationships with her family and with herself. The trip to Turkey, rather than idyllic, is flawed as the town is not what she remembers, the people and her side trips are not what she expects. However, there is a beauty behind or in spite of those flaws, albeit one that is stark rather than picturesque. Either because of my confusion or causing my confusion, The Lovers raises many questions with little in the way of answers. Why the title? Who are "The Lovers"? Are we ever truthful with others or even ourselves about our relationships? Is it a self-defense mechanism or something else? Does it take others to help us see the truth or can we find the truth on our own? I still have no idea on any of these. If the definition of a good book is one that causes the reader to question the message and lesson of a novel weeks after finishing, then The Lovers meet the mark. If not, then I may need to do some soul searching of my own because I remain confused by what Ms. Vida shares with us. My expectations were so far left of what actually occurs that I cannot help but feel more than slightly disappointed at the difference. I know others have and will continue to rave about The Lovers. As for my opinion, I wanted to like it more than I did. Unfortunately, this all combines into a book that it just not for me - too esoteric and confusing with a title that has very little to do with the novel itself.
  • (4/5)
    The Lovers, Vendela Vida The Lovers is a novel set in Turkey, where a newly widowed woman returns to the place of her honeymoon, almost three decades before. She's trying to escape her life in Vermont, and her new status as the pitied single woman among couples. As the mother of grown twins, she is conflicted with her memories of her marriage and her relationship with her children. She's discovering that as more time passes since her husband's death, the more she is forced to re-evaluate their relationship.After describing lush and green Vermont, the description of Turkey provides a stark contrast with dust, stones, and volcanic mountains. It's a none-too-subtle hint that with a new setting in place, things are going to change. But are they? This is where the novel makes a twist: nothing you think is going to happen actually happens. Once in place, she craves the company of others, so much so that she puts up with the imposition of others just to have human contact. Eventually, this leads her to a realization about her own personality and her own future. To be sure, this is not a romantic or happily-ever-after "chick" lit story. It is not Eat Love Pray, and there's no glamour, sudden insight, or handsome distraction. Rather, Yvonne, is very much alone and really has no basis to understand who she was, or is. If she's different, then it means her perceptions of her husband and children are altered too, and that's where her story becomes less typical and more interesting. In fact, the title "The Lovers" is misleading...it's not easy to determine who that would describe. It doesn't take long for her to realize she's been playing a role, but she has no other script to turn to...she doesn't quite know how to behave anymore. I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but as the plot continues, she is so disoriented that her decisions become riskier and more dangerous. Rather than feature shocking revelations or dramatic confrontations, the novel proceeds to a realistic conclusion. Rather than settle for a shallow resolution, the novel leaves you to ponder deeper complexities of personality and self.The story is fast paced, and as a main character, Yvonne is solid. But her children remain a mystery, and it's hard to grasp how they fit in with it all. Additionally, in the beginning there are hints as to the direction of the story that are misleading, and really weren't necessary at all. The book didn't need those elements to mystify us, her story alone is strong enough without them. And while the main character is female, the appeal of the plot isn't limited to a female audience.There was one seeming discrepancy: this sheltered woman has put herself in a foreign country, alone, without even a guidebook to the language. She is suspicious at times of others, and rightfully so, as malice is present, and yet she makes no great attempt to lock up her vacation rental or show any sense of caution in her actions. She's throwing euros around as tips, and everyone seems to know she's alone. Unexpected visitors, with their own keys, seem to pop up constantly, and yet she takes it all in stride. That seemed a bit out of character from how she was described, but it's a small complaint.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    Yvonne's husband has recently died and her children are adults and don't need her as they used to. She decides to go to Turkey, which is where she and her husband went on their honeymoon--but things aren't as she remembered them. This isa very good book but it's definitely character-driven, not plot-driven. So keep that in mind, because if you're looking for a fun beach read, this isn't it. But if you're looking for a great exploration of relationships (friendship, romantic, parental), this is for you.
  • (5/5)
    The Lovers is the tale of a woman named Yvonne and her trip to Turkey.Yvonne is alone. Literally, she has no traveling companion. On a related note, as the novel progresses, her relationships with family, friends & acquaintances are examined, as well as the idea of relationships, in general.While in Turkey, Yvonne befriends a young boy who sells shells on the beach (thus the picture on the cover of the book). This friendship is at one point compared to two people in a romantic relationship - an observation by a character in the book, not by the narrator. This passing remark sticks with the reader, both because of the book's title and the fact that numerous romantic relationships in the book have been mentioned. Yvonne and her young friend, while in no way romantically involved, get along in a way that none of the romantic relationships in the book do, but in a way that many romantic relationships are portrayed in the media.I adored this book. The writing was concise - Vida utilizes her words beautifully. She writes simply about complicated manners, and the result is a poignant novel that stays with you after you've finished the last word. I love that this book makes the reader think and that it's well written - and I think you'll love that about this book, too.