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Patrick Modiano, Young Once

NYRB, 2016

"The most gripping Modiano book of all." (Der Spiegel)

A crucial book in the career of Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano, in which he stripped away the difficulties of his earlier work and found a clear, mysteriously moving voice for his haunting stories of love, nostalgia, and grief.

Odile and Louis are leading a happy, bucolic life with their two children in the French countryside near the Swiss mountains. It is Odile's thirty-fifth birthday; Louis's thirty-fifth birthday is a few weeks away. Then the story shifts back to their early years: coming together in a Paris saturated with the crimes and secrets of the past but breathing hopes for the future, they struggle to create what, looking back, will have been their youth.

"Clinging to the last of their dreams, alone and lost in Paris, Odile and Louis both become compromised by wartime morality. Modiano's stark, unadorned style is anything but simple... Unlike some of Modiano's later plots that lose steam halfway through or stubbornly refuse to tie up at the end, the plot of Young Once continues to build throughout." —Shelf Awareness (Nick's Picks, University Book Store, Seattle)

Amazon (NOT this!) / Indie Bound / Publisher