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book review for the novel 'A Very Long Engagement' by Sebastien Japrisot

Book Review Form

Book Title: 'A Very Long Engagement'

Author: Sebastien Japrisot (Translated by Linda Coverdale)

Publisher: A Plume/Penguin Book 1994 Copyright 1991 France

Number of pages: 317 pages

Fiction-Genre: Romance/World War One/France/Military discpline


How I discovered or acquired this book: I found this novel at the Used Book Room at the Fennville Public Library, Fennville MI

When & where read: I read the novel during the month of March 2021. I started reading this novel when I started getting sick the first part of March and read it over a week time period.

Noteworthy experiences while reading this book: I would say the ending of this novel was a noteworthy experience.

Check out author's other books? Or related books?: I did check out the other novels by this author but they all seem to be crime novels and not like this novel 'A Very Long Engagement'.

(If yes, add them to Books I'd Like to Read-see page 145.)

Rate on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being exceptional): I do not rate novels. I will only say this novel is worth reading and I found it a enjoyable reading experience.

Quality of writing: I found the quality writing pleasant. Nice clear prose (a translation from French to English).

Pace: I found the pace of the novel not slow or fast. The novel was nicely constructed. The novel seem real and not fake.

Plot development: I think the plot of the novel unfolded clearly. Maybe there were a few things I was not clear about, but those things did not ruin my reading experience.

Characters: All the characters in this novel were well developed and stood out.

Enjoyability: I enjoyed reading this novel, which is somethings I rarely experience in reading novels.

Insightfulness: The novel's main setting is the First World War in France and I was reminded again of the horrors of war/the pain/love ones dying and leaving their lovers desolate.

Ease of reading: The novel was not a difficult read.


Recommend this book? To whom? I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good love story/a novel of friendship/the importance of family.

Notes And Opinions:

Basic plot or contents, setting, main character, point of view, how this book made me feel or what it made me think, great lines of quotes, etc. . .

Overall rating:

Description of this novel found in Amazon site-
"Set during and after the First World War, A Very Long Engagement tells the story of a young woman's search for her fiancé, whom she believes might still be alive despite having officially been reported as "killed in the line of duty." Unable to walk since childhood, fearless Mathilde Donnay is undeterred in her quest as she scours the country for information about five wounded French soldiers who were brutally abandoned by their own troops. A Very Long Engagement is a mystery, a love story, and an extraordinary portrait of life in France before and after the War."

A Review from a Reader in Amazon-
"I love the book. I couldn't wait to see the movie. I must admit the movie fell flat. Don't waste your time with movie, but definitely read the novel. It is set during and just after WWI. Wheelchair-bound Mathilde Donnay is told that her fiancé has died honorably during the war. She notices discrepancies in the official story and is convinced that her fiancé is still alive. This is a love story set in a historical setting, but what I loved about the novel was the mystery or I should say mysteries because there are several in this novel that Mathilde must solve. I really admired Mathilde's tenacity to find the truth about her fiancé. The twists and turns this story took while investigating her fiancés whereabouts and the mysteries that are discovered and solved during this time really keep you guessing about what actually happened to her fiancé right up to the end of the novel. I read this novel in 2 days, something I haven't done in quite some time."

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