Harry Quebert

” ‘In our society, Marcus, the most admired men are those who build bridges, skyscrapers, and empires. But in reality, the proudest and most admirable are those who manage to build love. Because there is no greater or more difficult undertaking.'”

“During that same year in the United States, more than four million babies had been born; almost two and a half million people had died; more than thirty thousand had been shot to death; half a million had started taking drugs; nearly four hundred thousand reported adjusted gross income of more than a million dollars on their tax returns; and forty thousand had died in automobile accidents. And I had written just one book.”

” ‘Cherish love, Marcus. Make it your greatest conquest, your sole ambition. After men, there will be other men. After books, there will be other books. After glory, there will be other glories. After money, there will be yet more money. But after love, Marcus, after love, there is nothing but the salt from tears.'”

One Million Page Princess

 

First off? I sincerely apologize for the huge break between posts. I am currently without a computer of my own, and additionally I was away on vacation for a little bit. While that helped to facilitate a LOT of excellent reading time, it wasn’t really the best for sitting down inside and taking the time to write anything that was worth reading. The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair was the first book I finished on my trip, so here we go!

Originally published in French, and winner of both the Grand Prix du Roman de l’Académie Française and the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair is definitely one of my favorite books of the year. In the summer of 1975, celebrated author Harry Quebert has an affair with a fifteen year old girl named Nola Kellergan, that he manages to keep a secret despite her being the muse for his most famous novel of all time. Over thirty years later, her body is found buried in his yard along with a manuscript for that same book, and everyone is looking at Harry as the murderer. Fortunately, all the years Harry spent mentoring another young author, Marcus Goldman, prove they were more than worth it when Marcus arrives in town defiant in proving Harry’s innocence. It is a book within a book, as the story focuses on writer Marcus Goldman’s quest to document the truth about Harry’s affair in a new bestseller, and you read excerpts from his book, in addition to the discoveries he’s making about the case that are happening in 2010, and even flashbacks from what really happened in 1975.

I found the prose beautiful, and that is even after the book has been translated. (Kudos to the translator Sam Taylor for not missing a beat.) Interestingly, the book is written almost backwards with the chapters counting down from 31, as Harry gave Marcus 31 pieces of advice on how to be a successful writer. Each chapter kind of reflects the words of wisdom bestowed on Marcus.

Because this book is a really wonderful mystery/thriller, I’m not going to say much more in terms of the plot, other than its twists and turns kept me completely engaged the whole way through. I’ve been non stop recommending this one to anyone that will listen.

This is the kind of book that you blow off everything for, just so you can settle into a comfortable chair and find out what happens next.

 

Until next time,

OMPP