My Rating: 4 of 5 stars.
This book was a treat to read.
From the FSB Media Website:
Two middle-aged misfits and a love that should not be as complicated as it seems
It started in a cemetery, where they begrudgingly share a bench. “Shrimp,” the childless young widow and librarian with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that her jam jars are in alphabetical order, meets Benny, the gentle, overworked milk farmer who fears becoming the village’s Old Bachelor. Both driven by an enormous longing and loudly ticking biological clocks, they can’t escape the powerful attraction between them.
But how will she learn to accept that he falls asleep at the opera and has a house full of his mother’s cross-stitch? And how could he ever feel at home in her minimalist apartment, bare as a dentist’s waiting room?
I loved the main characters, and how they were both real, everyday people with real, everyday quirks. I enjoyed how the book went back and forth between the two of them, giving each one’s perspective on a scene, and on what each of them was thinking about their relationship as the book progressed.
The contrast between them gave insight into their characters, but also had me thinking about real life, and how our personality and background shapes our approach to situations. I also reflected on how both of them knew the relationship couldn’t work, but continued to construct scenarios in their minds.
I particularly enjoyed being surprised by the ending. That’s all I’ll say about that.
I found this a nice book, and an easy and enjoyable read. (I do want to clarify that by “nice” I don’t mean chaste or pure. The book did have sexual content. I didn’t find it gratuitous or inappropriate, but it was present).
I do need to mention the one issue I had with this novel. The language didn’t quite flow for me.
I think this is due to the translation. I’m always amazed just thinking about what goes into taking a book from one language to another, so I feel bad being in any way critical of the result.
It kept me aware of the words I was reading, not letting me get totally lost in the story. I got used to it by the end, but I never felt the nickname of “shrimp” was particularly appropriate, and I still kept going back to my original impression of Benny as not very bright. The problem didn’t keep me from enjoying my reading, but it did interfere with it somewhat.
Thank you to FSB Media for providing me a copy of this book for review.