Getting Lost

Dreamscape Media. Jan. 2023. 5:29 hrs. ISBN 9781666629019. $49.99. MEMOIR
Nobel laureate Ernaux (The Years) publishes her unaltered journal from when she was a woman obsessed, wholly consumed by her affair with married Russian diplomat “S.” Their time together, from October 1988 to November 1989, centers on sex and her preoccupation with him, while in the background the Berlin Wall falls and Ernaux ruminates over her reading of Anna Karenina. She is frequently miserable, as S is often unavailable, and she jealously assumes she is one of several mistresses. Each day without a call or visit reminds her of previous relationships and how much she focuses on providing what this man wants. After S moves back to Russia, she begins to recover and regains focus on her work. In retrospect when reading over her journal, she decides the whole episode was “almost shameful, a waste of energy.” Narrator Tavia Gilbert does an excellent job conveying Ernaux’s vulnerability and intensity during this tumultuous love affair filled with passion and despair.
VERDICT An interesting choice for libraries where patrons are looking for more of Ernaux’s work, but an optional purchase for most.
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