Hunting and gathering / Anna Gavalda ; translated from the French by Alison Anderson.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      1st Riverhead trade pbk. ed.
    • Other Titles:
      Ensemble, c'est tout. English
    • ISBN:
      9781594481444 : PAP
      159448144X : PAP
    • Accession Number:
      2006034334
    • Accession Number:
      fay.227840

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2007 April #1

This international best-seller from one of France's rising literary stars is sure to be a popular book-club choice. Although Gavalda (Someone I Loved, 2005) amps up the pathos, she delivers a winning portrait of a group of misfits who band together to form their own family. There's socially awkward aristocrat Philibert, who is living in his dead grandmother's grand if sparely furnished Parisian apartment until her will has been sorted out; his handy but uncouth roommate, Franck, a talented cook who is heartsick over having to commit his grandmother to a nursing home; and gifted artist Camille, who works cleaning offices and suffers from anorexia. When Philibert finds Camille in her freezing attic apartment exhausted from a fever, he nurses her back to health. The chef and the artist take an immediate dislike to each other and then promptly fall in love, and the three then "embark on what might turn out to be the most beautiful days of their lives." Gavalda casts her immensely appealing story in such a sunny albeit sentimental light, readers will find it nearly impossible to resist. ((Reviewed April 1, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2007 April #2

This second novel by best-selling French author Gavalda (Someone I Loved ) is a slow boil; its choppy style makes its length (almost 500 pages) daunting. But soon it's rolling along and proves itself to be one of the more lighthearted books to deal with suicide, addiction, eating disorders, poverty, and abandonment. While it follows almost every clichd formula relating to youth, art, and love—all compounded by the romantic Parisian setting (so many picnics!)—and sometimes ventures into forced dialog, it establishes a very real dynamic among its main characters: Camille, the intellectual artist waif; Philibert, the stuttering young aristocrat who rescues her from a freezing garret; Franck, the angry, overburdened young chef; and Paulette, Franck's ailing grandmother. This impromptu family lives and grows together in an old apartment that becomes the chambered heart of the novel. Even if you know exactly where the sentimental plot is headed, you want to make the trip with these people and believe in their particular brand of fairy tale. Recommended for public libraries.—Prudence Peiffer, Cambridge, MA

[Page 71]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

PW Reviews 2007 February #4

Love cures all that ails the troubled trio of "no-hopers" in this sentimental second novel by French literary sensation Gavalda (Someone I Loved ; I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere ). Camille, a talented artist exhausted by ennui and anorexia, cleans offices at night and cowers in a shabby garret by day. Philibert, the fastidious scion of a titled family, peddles museum postcards while squatting in his dead grandmother's Parisian manse, waiting for her estate to be settled. Philibert's roommate, Franck, a talented (and womanizing) chef with ambition to burn, motorcycles once a week to look in on his stubborn, ailing grandmother Paulette, an "inmate" at a retirement home. When Philibert finds Camille deathly ill one day, he rescues her from her icy garret and deposits her in his shabby but spacious home. Franck and Camille take an immediate dislike to each other, a sure sign that they're bound to fall in love—which happens, cutely, after they liberate Paulette. That's when, "for the first time, each and every one of them felt like they belonged to a real family." Gavalda's comically implausible and comfortably predictable novel of misfits is a Gallic charmer anchored by breezy and poignant storytelling. (Apr.)

[Page 56]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.