4 out of 4 stars
Review by Elaine5
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Even if it were not considered a spoiler, I would not attempt to describe the motivation behind Zoe's attempt to find Ivar. If you were to read about it here it would seem silly or trivial, but the author so perfectly takes you inside Zoe's head that you will feel desperate to find Ivar right along with her. While Zoe searches, we learn through her thoughts and memories about the less than perfect boyfriend she has left behind and we also learn about her tendency toward visions or hallucinations. These visions have caused her much anxiety and even guilt. She struggles to understand what they mean, if anything. It's a marvelous journey geographically and emotionally.
I was swept away by this story. Zoe is splendid in all of her true to life confusion, worry and self consciousness. Her boyfriend Marc is entirely frustrating and impossible. Her friend Sylvie is steadfast and loyal, but can't quite understand Zoe the way you will. Her parents try to be supportive but are distant both physically and emotionally, living in England and dealing with Zoe's father's illness. These richly developed characters interact to form a fascinating plot that is full of unexpected twists, yet remains easy to follow and completely believable.
Many relevant subjects are intelligently incorporated into the story. Same sex marriage and the controversy that surrounded its becoming legal in France is one prominent issue. Domestic violence, gambling addiction and terrorism are all artfully addressed to varying degrees. Add to that, themes such as the generosity of strangers, the importance of questioning your assumptions and taking risks in order to find fulfillment, and you've got plenty of food for thought while you ride Zoe's roller coaster.
This book would appeal to a very wide audience. I expect it would be enjoyed by anyone who likes to read fiction and particularly by those who enjoy travel. It's one to get lost in. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Woman in Blue and White
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