Monday, June 28, 2010

review revisit: The Lovers by Vendela Vida

This review originally appeared on this blog in April 2010. I'm reposting it because I haven't had a chance to recap ALA (I'm still here, and it's wonderful!), the novel was published last Tuesday, and it's still one of my favorite reads of the year. I've made a few changes to reflect my current thoughts on the novel and how it has stayed with me.
The Lovers: A Novel
The back story: I am a huge fan of Vendela Vida, and when I first heard about her new novel, the advance praise alone had me longing for it. Thankfully, I got a copy from the publisher via Book Browse.

The basics: Yvonne is a middle-aged widow with two grown children who decides to travel alone to Datca, Turkey. 

Overall: I savored every word of the novel's 240 pages. Vida does a masterful job of showing the reader how even an intelligent, self-aware and honest character, does not really see what is going on around her. Yvonne's slow admissions of her back story made me realize the better I knew her, the less well she understood herself. I loved  Yvonne, and I loved the descriptions of marriage, parenting, teaching and travel. It's a beautiful character study of Yvonne.

Verdict: It's one of my favorite reads of 2010, and I sincerely hope it makes an appearance on next year's Orange Prize longlist. 

New thoughts: One of my other favorite reads of 2010 is Monique Roffey's White Woman on the Green Bicycle. There are some similarities to these two novels below the surface. Both are lyrical, character driven novels of women in a foreign land. If time allowed, I could have read both novels in a single sitting. Although they're among my favorite reads of 2010, these are not novels with universal appeal. For the right reader, however, they are magical.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5 stars)
Pages: 240
Publication date: June 22, 2010 

As an Amazon and IndieBound affiliate, I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the above links. Thank you!


  1. I am so looking forward to this one; excellent review (love the format)

  2. I've been meaning to read this ever since you first mentioned it! Also, I hope you're having a wonderful time at ALA :)

  3. Wow...5 stars! Will have to check this one out :-)

  4. OK - I'm up for this! I'll add to my tbr. Thanks!

  5. this sounds great! And the cover is beautiful . . .


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!