The Lover - Marguerite Duras, Barbara Bray
“People ought to be told of such things. Ought to be taught that immortality is mortal, that it can die, it’s happened before and it happens still.” (90%)



The prose is so beautiful, so evocative, that I am immediately transported into the world of “The Lover”. I am glad I read the introduction, confusing as it was because it let me know two important things: 1. this novel is 'somewhat' autobiographical of the author and 2. the characters are mostly nameless.

Because it is written in the first person, you are immediately gripped by the narrator’s voice. The rawness of her emotion is palpable. The timeline isn’t clearly established, we keep jumping back and forth between different ages/memories of the narrator which can be jarring at times.

While reading about a 15-year-old engaging in a sexual relationship with a 27-year-old is deeply unsettling, because of the way the narrator tells the story, you can become confused and think of her as older than 15. I wonder if she engaged in sex as a way to combat the sadness she says she has always felt within her, a sadness that ages her young face and that is mirrored in the deep melancholy of her mother. It's truly heartbreaking.

As it is, the whole novel is accompanied by a sad, melancholic tone and it doesn't let up until you've finished the book.