Delicacy: A Novel
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Reminiscent of Nick Hornby, Muriel Barbery, and Jonathan Tropper, internationally acclaimed novelist David Foenkinos delivers a heartfelt and deftly comedic tale of new love brightening the dark aftermath of loss--and of wounded hearts finding refuge in the strangest of places. After her husband’s unexpected death, Natalie has erected a fortress around her emotions; and Markus, clumsy and unassuming, will never be her knight in shining armor. Yet slowly but surely, an offbeat romance begins between these two mismatched, complex souls, and contrary to everything Natalie knows of affection, her perfect suitor may turn out to be love’s most unlikely candidate: the fool, not the hero, who is finally able to reach her heart.
rational. It’s exactly like an unhappy love affair: you don’t know when you’ll get over it. At the most painful moment, you think that the wound will never heal. And then, one morning, you’re startled to discover that you no longer feel this terrible burden. What a surprise to notice that the angst has disappeared. Why on that particular day? Why not later, or sooner? It’s the totalitarian decision of our body. Markus shouldn’t have looked for a tangible explanation of that impulsive kiss. It had
spectacle. Suddenly, he’d stand up and shout, “Come on, we’re going out!” That’s the last thing that should be pointed out about him. He was no fan of transitions. He liked disruptions, passing from silence to bursts of activity. With François, time flew—at a frenzied pace. You’d have believed he could skip days, create strange weeks that had no Thursday. They’d barely met and were already celebrating two years together. Two years without the slightest blemish, enough to baffle any
Souchon Song Natalie Listened to After Her Second Evening with Markus Loving pictures shot with cameras on my skin, we lived it. Tear them up and all those times we cried, forgive it. We’ve got all the glue and sticky tape To put those broken hearts back into shape. What images we formed back in those days, cute couple. I moved in with you and found your world, your bubble. Then came the broken glass that stung our smiles. Bloody shards of glass on our new tiles. Me, you, we just
could contain the threat of unhappiness. Sometimes she stopped herself when she found herself saying, “I’m happy,” a sort of superstition, a sort of memory of all those moments when life had finally veered onto the wrong track. Her family and the friends who’d come to the wedding formed what could be called the first circle of social pressure. Pressure to have a child. Could it be that they were sick enough at this point of their own lives to get worked up about those of others? That’s always
sympathy for this Swede. “He’s a good person at heart.” “Oh, really, how can you see that?” “I sense it. Instinct. Down deep he’s fantastic.” Natalie kissed her grandmother again. It was time to go to bed. Markus put out his cigar as he said to Madeleine, “Sleep is a path that leads to tomorrow’s soup.” Madeleine slept on the first floor, because climbing the stairs had become hard for her. The other bedrooms were on the floor above. Natalie looked at Markus. “She can’t disturb us, the way