2014: 82. Le Mariage

"It was widely agreed among other Americans in Paris that Clara Holly had the ideal life here, and people also agreed that if her good fortune had distanced her slightly from the normal lot of Americans, even from humans generally, it hadn't made a monster of her as often seems to happen to women in her category - beautiful, rich, well married, from from her Oregon beginnings."

Le Mariage, Diane Johnson

This is the second Johnson I've read, and I enjoyed this more than the last.  Like Le Divorce, it largely concerns Americans living in Paris among the French.  Here our two main Americans are Clara Holly, a former actress married to a world famous director, living a charmed life in the suburbs, and Tim Nolinger, a journalist engaged to a proper French young lady, living in Paris.  Through a series of unfolding events (including a purloined manuscript, a hunting contretemps, an wrongful arrest, and bien sur, more adultery than you can shake a stick at), the two and their social circles become intertwined.  And if you were  a Le Divorce superfan, characters recur.

So, I liked this one more than Le Divorce.  Although I found the characters to be as generally unlikable as in the other book (with the exception of Tim's fiancee, Anne-Sophie, who I sort of adored, with her antique stall dedicated to horse memorabilia), the plot twists were more satisfying.  And it wasn't quite so Henry James try-hardy, thought Jamesian stuff (with more clear and witty prose) is definitely her bag.  I guess I'm not that fundamentally interested in broad generalizations about how the French are like this, the Americans like that, even if it may be true.  But the book kept me entertained, at least.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017