January 21st, 2018
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The Unloved

The Unloved, March 2015
by Deborah Levy

Bloomsbury
208 pages
ISBN: 1620406772
EAN: 9781620406779
Kindle: 1620406772
Paperback / e-Book
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"Lifted burdens for those who have them, sorrows for those who don't."

Fresh Fiction Review

The Unloved
Deborah Levy

Reviewed by Ashleigh Compton
Posted August 21, 2015

Fiction | Mystery

A group of tourists from all over the world gather into a chateau in France, intending to enjoy the holidays in the company of near strangers. They slowly learn secrets about each other while keeping their own secrets as best they can. The seductive lure of change and experience goes to the heads of the children and adults alike. The world slips by like syrup flowing, until the body is discovered. The murder of one of their own leads them to discover the truth about their lives, and about love, and about why they are THE UNLOVED.

THE UNLOVED is a novel of the mind, a real cerebral experience. The astounding prose takes on that most difficult of themes: what it really means to be loved. Each character, down to the young children, has their own take on what it means. Cruel parents watch as their children fall and the children give as good as they get. THE UNLOVED must listen to the stories of the loved, their passions and failures laid before the world.

The surest sign that a novel is a life-changer is that even your criticism can only help the experience of the book. That which confused me can be saved by virtue of slow and careful reading. If I came to this novel with any expectation, it was that I would understand the narrative. Unfortunately the novel had other plans. It is beautifully written but it is often hard to discern who is speaking, and why. I strongly advise reading this book in chunks, taking the time to savor the beauteous language and to discover what motivates these characters to behave as they do. THE UNLOVED is an exploration of hurt. Read the book to share their burdens and lift the load from their shoulders.

Learn more about The Unloved

SUMMARY

The image is instant. It whirs out of the camera and they all watch it develop in silence.
"Here." He gives the photograph to the perfect flawless woman without looking at it, by way of apology. When everyone gathers around Luciana to admire it, Gustav clicks again.
The unloved look brave.
The unloved look heavier than the loved. Their eyes are sadder but their thoughts are clearer. They are not concerned with pleasing or affirming their loved one's point of view.
The unloved look preoccupied.
The unloved look impatient.

A group of hedonistic tourists--from Algeria, England, Poland, Germany, Italy, France, and America--gathers to celebrate the holidays in a remote French chateau. Then a woman is brutally murdered, and the sad, eerie child Tatiana declares she knows who did it. The subsequent inquiry into the death, however, proves to be more of an investigation into the nature of identity, love, insatiable rage, and sadistic desire. The Unloved offers a bold and revealing look at some of the events that shaped European and African history, and the perils of a future founded on concealed truth.


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