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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper

Title: These Dividing Walls
Author: Fran Cooper
Publisher: 16 May 2017 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 256 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: fiction, cultural France, contemporary
My Rating: 3.5 crowns


One Parisian summer

A building of separate lives

All that divides them will soon collapse...

In a forgotten corner of Paris stands a building.

Within its walls, people talk and kiss, laugh and cry; some are glad to sit alone, while others wish they did not. A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill, and a young mother wills the morning to hold itself at bay. Though each of their walls touches someone else's, the neighbours they pass in the courtyard remain strangers.

Into this courtyard arrives Edward. Still bearing the sweat of a channel crossing, he takes his place in an attic room to wait out his grief.

But in distant corners of the city, as Paris is pulled taut with summer heat, there are those who meet with a darker purpose. As the feverish metropolis is brought to boiling point, secrets will rise and walls will crumble both within and without Number 37...

My Thoughts

“How many other people have stood here, she asks herself. How many sleepless feet have trodden these boards?”

‘These Dividing Walls’ is an interesting tale as it could be described a social commentary. Very topical (particularly for the French) but really for all of Western society, as this one building is like a  microcosm of society. Played against this is an array of characters that face their own personal struggles and battle their own inner demons. On the whole, there is really not much of an overall plot, but rather, a reflective study on character and society.

The author takes a group of very different people and reflects on the range of their reactions to some of the current upheavals in today’s society. It is well written, with on the whole, believable characters and of course, it is very topical. Personal stories - loneliness, grief, depression, prejudice, loss -  played out against the wider political situation - immigration, unemployment -  in France where tensions are about to boil over. Will the end bring about reconciliation? unification? renewal?

‘These Dividing Walls’ is a clever  literary fictional commentary that can be viewed as either a social dissertation or simply a tale of people living in the same building brought together through a crisis situation.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

1 comment:

Mystica said...

I think a topical story for all over the world. Not just France.