Monday, November 14, 2016

Guillaume Musso - Where Would I Be Without You?

Gabrielle has two men in her life.
One is her father, the other her first love.
One is a great cop, the other a famous thief.
They are long gone, having left an empty space in her heart.
On the same day, at the same time, they reappear, turning her life upside down. They know each other, and hate each other, and are engaged in a chase to the death.
Gabrielle refuses to choose between them, she wants to keep them both safe, bring them closer, love them both. But there are fights where the only possible outcome is death.

Comment: This book was recommended to me at a book fair I attended back in June. I had heard about the author before but I never felt intrigued by his writing. Two people who were with me told me it was a beautiful story so I bought the paperback edition of it. As it was, this is a book by a french author and half the story is set in Paris, the place where I've recently been on my holidays. It was quite interesting to read about the places I was visiting at the time too.

This is the story of Gabrielle, a young American girl who falls in love with Martin, a French student.They have this amazing romance but then one day she doesn't show up for a meeting long awaited and he thinks she forgot about him. Years pass and now Martin is a police man looking for a famous thief, someone that, surprisingly, ends up being Gabrielle's father.
Gabrielle suddenly has the two man she most longed for in her life showing up again very close to one another but when she realizes who they are to one another, can she make a choice after all?

I must confess I wasn't very impressed with this book. I think my biggest issue has to be the writing style itself, I just wasn't very fond of how the author tells the story, it's all about disjointed sentences and very small paragraphs, which, obviously are supposed to make us get a idea more empathically but that only make me stop the thoughts all the time and it got annoying.
I suppose the point is to make this a poetic romance, where the way of sentences will lead us to a poetic place in the reading but something about it just made it all sound and look so...distanced, as if I wasn't truly identifying with the characters.

I guess the story itself had potential, this is not a love triangle in the usual sense, it's the love of a woman for a man, and for her father. Some ideas, like why didn't Gabrielle met Martin when she was supposed to, why didn't they just try to communicate sooner have their merit but the whole thief section with Gabrielle's father sounded too far fetched.
Some switches from scene to scene also seemed too unlikely for the rest to be taken seriously, for instance the plan Martin has and its execution to catch Gabrielle's father at last and so on...

The romance could have been a saving grace here but to be honest I never felt they couldn't go on without the other. Yes, the words describing their loss and separation were intense and pretty but they, as characters, never moved me enough for me to feel I had to see them finding their love again. The way they connected again, the things they said, their behavior...I suppose it could have delighted many readers but to me it wasn't as special as I imagined after the good comments that made me get it.
I end up thinking this is a case of an author not being for me.

This isn't a completely bad book but I expected more from the characters and I never felt they evolved by having spend time apart of by having the time to do other things in the meantime. I don't know but it sounded weird how they behaved with one another.
The end is rather weird too, not impossibly wrong or inadequate but sincerely, apart from the obvious need to make us cry, I can't say I feel as if I couldn't live without having read it.
I think this is a good book for those who like poetic takes on things but as a first attempt, I wasn't too impressed, for me it was too "out" of reality for a contemporary.
Grade: 5/10

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