yeux

The latest addition to my website is Katherine Pancol‘s Les Yeux jaunes des crocodiles (The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles). I have been hesitating about reading this book but, on my recent holiday in France, it seemed somehow appropriate, not least because Pancol’s latest book, Muchachas 3 was in every book shop I visited and, though I generally avoid the Summer/Beach reading recommended by (semi-)famous authors in the various newspapers, something light seemed called for, so I plunged into this literary phenomenon. I say literary phenomenon though, while it has had considerable success in France and elsewhere, it has had less success in English. This may be because of the translation (see my notes on the language issue in the review on my site) or because it is very Gallic in flavour, which might not readily appeal to US and UK readers. It is fairly lightweight but a pleasant enough read, with plot complications, the weaknesses of men highlighted (and some weaknesses of women), marriage damned, ambition (but only honest ambition) praised and a big cheer for the woman who carries on fighting for her corner against the perfidies of the world, particularly the masculine world. It tells the stories of two sisters – the dowdy, insecure intellectual Joséphine, and the dashing, beautiful and elegant Iris – and their struggles. You can probably guess who comes through, without reading the book. The British royal family, Mick Jagger and Eleanor of Aquitaine all have a role to play as Pancol romps through her story with her colourful and very colloquial contemporary French. A good read beach read perhaps but of course there are better things to read on the beach.