Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Slow Waltz of Turtles

It's been a while.
A lot has happened in the meantime. I've abandoned a book.. The Wind-up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Set in a dystopian future, I felt I had read better dystopian novels than this one. It just was a bit too asian, and a plot that didn't make sense. Maybe I would've had an Aha-Erlebnis if I had continued but I didn't feel like it. So many books, so little time..

So, that brings me seamlessly to the book I did finish. The Slow Waltz of Turtles is a sequel to The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles also by Katherine Pancol. The main characters that I've gotten to know through that book, come back to live in this second installment. I felt like I had never left the particular ban lieu  where Josephine, Zoé and Hortense lived, although it has been five years since I read the first novel.

Josephine has become rich, but she hasn't gained much confidence from that fact. Almost forced by her eldest daughter she moved to a better part of Paris, where she and her youngest daughter don't feel at home. Even with living between the rich she can't help but hand out help to the needy she encounters on her path.
The tone of this novel is quite different from the previous one, where Jo was depicted as a insecure woman ruled by those she admired. When Hortense, her eldest daughter reveals the fact that the book Jo had written wasn't in fact from the hand of Iris, Jo's sister, Jo begins to feel an inkling of confidence from the fact that her daughter stood up for her.
In this novel that confidence only grows. Don't misunderstand me, Jo stays the same ever-doubting woman who doesn't see what she has to offer,but although she is afraid, she does have the courage to stand up for herself and take the things she wants.

Another part of the novel circulates around a few violent events, that seem indirectly to be revolving around Jo, where her imagination fills in most of the blanks.
The emotional depth and brilliant scenery make this 600+ page novel a treat to read. I felt somehow connected with Jo, because I can relate to her insecurity. I might be a bit louder and have quite a dirty mouth, in the end I am as insecure about giving or receiving love or kindness.