BookBrowse Reviews The Balcony by Jane Delury

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The Balcony

by Jane Delury

The Balcony by Jane Delury X
The Balcony by Jane Delury
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2018, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 19, 2019, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Emily Isackson
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A century-spanning portrait of the inhabitants of a French village, revealing the deception, despair, love, and longing beneath the calm surface of ordinary lives.

The premise of The Balcony seems simple: a French country estate plays host to families and their dramas throughout the twentieth century. Yet Jane Delury takes this straightforward concept and weaves a complex and unpredictable story filled with hardship, heartache, tragedy, mystery and hope. The narrative often takes unexpected turns, veering through history to slowly reveal one small fiber of an intricate, interconnected web.

The book begins in 1992 with an American au pair, Brigitte, as she arrives in Benneville, a fictional town outside of Paris. She immediately experiences disappointment when her image of the French countryside, "informed by the paintings of the impressionists and by novels such as Madame Bovary," unfolds as "an industrial wash of smokestacks and faceless apartment buildings." The town's historic center was decimated by a bomb during World War II and the ...

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