Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Lovers by Vendela Vida

(hb; 2010)

From the inside flap:

"Twenty-eight years ago, Peter and Yvonnne 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 cruious marital arrangement - become constant uninvited visitors, in and out of the house.

"Overwhelmed by the past and unexpected 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. . ."


A dreamy vibe suffuses Vida's emotional (but not bathetic) tale about a woman who's adjusting to her new life and evolving outlook regarding her family, and situations, past and present.  Many of Yvonne's clarifying moments are brought into sharper focus by her quiet revelatons, as well as external, surreal events and elements (I particularly appreciated Vida's inclusion of the owl and the fairy chimneys  in this wise, humane and exotic tale).

Worth owning, this.

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