Seeing as Bonjour Tristesse (or “Ey Up, Love” as it’s known in England) is back in the news at the moment courtesy of Penguin Classics UK (who’ve done a new release thing), we thought we’d provide a quick review.
Written by Francoise Sagan back in the 1950s (when she was a mere 18 years of age), Sagan penned the female equivalent of The Catcher In The Rye – a tale of teen angst and oomph.
Now before we go further we should highlight the fact this is a novella. It’s 112 pages long and can be stormed through on a breezy summer afternoon, which is the perfect weather for this we think.
Plain and simple, like, Sagan wrote the book after she’d failed her exams at the Sorbonne. The book became an immediate bestseller and made her famous – at 18!
It follows Cecile, a hedonistic young teen with a rather aloof attitude (cripes, I don’t know any teenagers like that) who leads a rather “frivolous” life (as the book synopsis explains – we are too stupid to think of a suitable word).
She takes a holiday with her wealthy father in the South of France, whereupon the sun and sand go to her tiny brain, along with her father’s latest mistress.
This is the plot, and it’s a nice punchy short novel. Well worth a read. Does it deserve the critical acclaim it has? We don’t think so, but it’s a strong debut from a lady clearly with a wise head on her rather young soldiers.