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La Petite Bijou Audiobook PACK [Book + 3 CDs]

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Thérèse, une jeune tille solitaire de dix-neuf ans, croise dans le métro une femme qui ressemble étrangement à sa mère, disparue depuis des années. Tourmentée par son passé, elle décide de la suivre, partant ainsi à la recherche de ses origines.


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Thérèse, une jeune tille solitaire de dix-neuf ans, croise dans le métro une femme qui ressemble étrangement à sa mère, disparue depuis des années. Tourmentée par son passé, elle décide de la suivre, partant ainsi à la recherche de ses origines.

30 review for La Petite Bijou Audiobook PACK [Book + 3 CDs]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    La petite Bijou = Little Jewel, Patrick Modiano Modiano’s luminous writing is verified in Little Jewel, a story narrated by a young woman. This person is adrift in Paris, imprisoned in an imperfectly remembered past. One day in the corridors of the metro, nineteen-year-old Thérèse glimpses a woman in a yellow coat. Could this be the mother who long ago abandoned her? Is she still alive? Desperate for answers to questions that have tormented her since childhood, Thérèse pursues the mysterious figu La petite Bijou = Little Jewel, Patrick Modiano Modiano’s luminous writing is verified in Little Jewel, a story narrated by a young woman. This person is adrift in Paris, imprisoned in an imperfectly remembered past. One day in the corridors of the metro, nineteen-year-old Thérèse glimpses a woman in a yellow coat. Could this be the mother who long ago abandoned her? Is she still alive? Desperate for answers to questions that have tormented her since childhood, Thérèse pursues the mysterious figure on a quest through the streets of Paris. In classic Modiano style, this book explores the elusive nature of memory, the unyielding power of the past, and the deep human need for identity and connection. The city itself is a major character in Modiano’s work, and timeless moral ambiguities of the post-Occupation years remain hauntingly unresolved. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هفتم ماه جولای سال 2005 میلادی عنوان: مرا نگین کوچولو می‌نامیدند؛ نویسنده: پاتریک مودیانو؛ مترجم: ناهید فروغان؛ تهران، اختران، 1383؛ در 135 ص؛ شابک: 9647514395؛ چاپ دوم 1393؛ شابک: 9789647514392؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی - سده 21 م مرا نگین کوچولو می‌نامیدند؛ کتاب دیگری از: «پاتریک مودیانو»، نویسنده ی فرانسوی برنده ی جایزه نوبل سال 2014 میلادی است. همانگونه که در معرفی سایر کتاب‌های «مودیانو» گفته شده؛ آثار «مودیانو»، از لحاظ ساختار و محتوا، شباهت‌های بسیاری دارند. «مرا نگین کوچولو می‌نامیدند» نیز، داستان جستجویی برای هویت، در میان یادمانهای مبهم، و به فراموشی سپرده‌ شده‌ ی بگذشته هاست. همچنین در این کتاب، احساس عدم امنیت، و آسیب‌پذیری ناشی از، از دست دادن‌های پیش از این، با واژه های آشنا، به تصویر کشیده شده است. این کتاب با ترجمه ی بانو «ناهید فروغان»، توسط نشر اختران، نزدیک به دهسال پیش از اعطای جایزه ی نوبل به «پاتریک مودیانو»، منتشر شده است. داستان «مرا نگین کوچولو می‌نامیدند»، از زاویه ی دید شخصیت اصلی کتاب، روایت می‌شود. دختری به نام «ترز»، که هنوز بیست ساله نشده است، و زمانی، او را «نگین کوچولو» می‌نامیدند. «نگین کوچولو» نام هنری ایشان بود، که وقتی او در کودکی، به همراه مادرش، در یک فیلم حضور پیدا کرد، مادرش برای او برگزیده بود. «ترز» به تنهایی، در «پاریس» روزگار می‌گذراند، و در میان یادمانهای رنگ باخته‌ ی بگذشته‌ ی خویش، با هزاران پرسش بی‌پاسخ، غرق شده است. داستان از جایی آغاز می‌شود، که «ترز» در ایستگاه مترو، زنی با مانتوی زرد می‌بیند، و شباهت زن، به تصویر نقاشی شده‌ ای که از مادرش، بر جای مانده، گمان می‌برد، که او مادرش است. حال آنکه شنیده است، مادرش سال‌ها پیش، در «مراکش» درگذشته است، مادرش به «مراکش» سفر کرد، و «ترز» کوچک را، برای همیشه، و بدون هیچ توضیحی، ترک کرد. اما بعید نیست که او مادرش باشد، «ترز» زن را دنبال می‌کند، و در ذهن خود جملات مناسبی، برای آغاز گفتگو پیدا می‌کند، اما شهامت جلو رفتن، و مواجهه با مادرش را ندارد، پس تنها او را دنبال می‌کند. «ترز» در کتاب «مرا نگین کوچولو می‌نامیدند»، بیشتر از احساسش، نسبت به مرور یادمانها، و رخدادهایی که برایش رخ داده است می‌پردازد، در زندگی او، رخداد تازه ای در حال رخدادن نیست. به جز دیدن مادرش در مترو، که نقطه ی عطفی در زندگی اوست. از جمله رخدادهای دیگر، ورود به خانه‌ ای برای پرستاری از فرزند آن خانواده است، دختری که خیلی زود «ترز» را، به یاد کودکی از دست رفته‌ ی خود، می‌اندازد. پدر و مادر دخترک، به طرز غریبی، در مورد او بی‌ مسئولیت هستند، و «ترز» خاطرات اهمال‌های مادرش، در مورد او، و غیاب پدری که هیچ‌گاه ندانست کیست را، به یادش می‌آورد. ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    A deliciously foggy dreamscape of a book. This was my first experience reading Modiano, French author and the 2014 winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. I could tell at once I was reading a master - a writer who can create an atmosphere that draws the reader in with ease. The book is about Thérèse, a young woman in Paris, who is often wandering, lost in the tangle of her memories and thoughts, lost in the past. In fact, she is barely present in the world, is almost slipping completely away f A deliciously foggy dreamscape of a book. This was my first experience reading Modiano, French author and the 2014 winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. I could tell at once I was reading a master - a writer who can create an atmosphere that draws the reader in with ease. The book is about Thérèse, a young woman in Paris, who is often wandering, lost in the tangle of her memories and thoughts, lost in the past. In fact, she is barely present in the world, is almost slipping completely away from it. You wonder if she is reliable as a narrator, because she slides between reality and hazy thoughts so fluidly. One day she sees a woman who she thinks might be her mother, and follows her. We learn that she lived a largely neglected life with her morphine-addicted and failed-dancer of a mother. Was she abandoned? Is her mother dead? Who is the woman in the yellow coat? This was a unique and beautiful book for me. It does not employ a traditional plot, but rather a watery and blurry collection of memories and impressions, belonging to a girl who we hope one day will rise to the surface, and breathe fresh air. A free copy of this book was given to me via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Yale University Press!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sorayya Khan

    Little Jewel is my introduction to Patrick Modiano, and I wish I'd come to him earlier. The novel is a map of loss, from the shards of a young woman's memories to the Paris neighborhoods to which they are connected. The novel is short and spare, the language crystal clear. The language is in striking contrast to the young woman, Little Jewel, who lives not so much in the present, but in the connections she is trying to establish between her memories and the world around her. She sees a woman in Little Jewel is my introduction to Patrick Modiano, and I wish I'd come to him earlier. The novel is a map of loss, from the shards of a young woman's memories to the Paris neighborhoods to which they are connected. The novel is short and spare, the language crystal clear. The language is in striking contrast to the young woman, Little Jewel, who lives not so much in the present, but in the connections she is trying to establish between her memories and the world around her. She sees a woman in a yellow coat she thinks is the mother who abandoned her long ago, and she follows her, perhaps for answers. Little Jewel slips and slides as she attempts to make the most basic question comprehensible. Why did her mother abandon her? What did that mean for her identity? Could she ever be whole again? Was she ever? I experienced the rare clarity of Little Jewel's world, like the sharp smell of ether she mentions, in terrible contrast to the incompleteness of memory, that maddening reality that makes everything go blurry again. Little Jewel's loss is even greater than what she can tell us (or her two friends), because she cannot remember all she longs to.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Thérèse Cardères is barely nineteen. She lives in Paris, with no family, no friends, no plans, no hopes, and no money. Her life is bleak, her emotions restricted to exhaustion and dread. She wanders Paris and the metro. Not the Paris warmly-lit by the nostalgia and memories of many other Modiano protagonists, but a bleak and grey Paris with all the characteristics of an empty moonscape. Thérèse never knew her father and doesn’t know his identity. Thérèse’s mother was a failed dancer, living in a Thérèse Cardères is barely nineteen. She lives in Paris, with no family, no friends, no plans, no hopes, and no money. Her life is bleak, her emotions restricted to exhaustion and dread. She wanders Paris and the metro. Not the Paris warmly-lit by the nostalgia and memories of many other Modiano protagonists, but a bleak and grey Paris with all the characteristics of an empty moonscape. Thérèse never knew her father and doesn’t know his identity. Thérèse’s mother was a failed dancer, living in a succession of apartments not her own, with a succession of shady friends. Her mother changed her name frequently — Cardères, O’Dauyé, Borand — what’s really her name, anyway? — and she secreted away a seemingly endless cache of large denomination francs of unknown origin. Seemingly devoid of maternal love or even affection for Thérèse, her mother abandoned her by fleeing to Morocco twelve years earlier and supposedly died there. Thérèse remembers her mother as a serial liar: ”. . . she would lie, she would cover her tracks. . . by lying about her age and by giving a false first name. And surname. And even a false title of nobility.” Thérèse sees a middle-aged woman with a dancer’s gait and her mother’s visage at the Châtelet metro station during rush hour and follows her almost to the end of the line and then into a near deserted café: is this truly her mother? Thérèse returns to Châtelet station and the café on other evenings, spies her would-be mother again, and follows her to an apartment block. She learns from the concierge that this woman now goes under yet another name, Boré. As typical with Modiano’s fiction, Little Jewel progresses with addition upon addition of promising but ultimately unsatisfying relationships for Thérèse, who both yearns for and seems incapable of transforming the kindnesses and affection of a middle aged pharmacist who tends to her and a young linguist who cares for her into any semblance of happiness or security. As also typical of Modiano, Little Jewel haunts its reader with an unsettling and unresolved ending: ”from that day on, life was beginning.” Little Jewel contains many of Modiano’s signature tropes: Paris neighborhoods, missing parents, a mysterious past, lying about oneself and one’s life, youthful poverty, and working class youthful envy of the student life. But Little Jewel is also unusual among Modiano’s novels, with some interesting variations. It’s told in the first person by a female protagonist, Jean Rhys-ian in her hopelessness; Paris, rather than a source of nostalgia, serves as a living urban nightmare of dread and doom; and the shadiness of Thérèse’s mother, as well as her neglect of and even cruelty towards Thérèse, is shadowed by the mysterious family for which Thérèse baby-sits. Little Jewel was first published in 2001. Modiano started publishing novels in 1968 and, depending upon how one counts up his oeuvre, Little Jewel is almost his twentieth published novel. I’ve read all of Modiano’s novels published in English prior to Little Jewel and I look forward to reading the rest of his fiction and other published work. Yes, even Catherine Certitude, Modiano’s beautifully illustrated children’s book about ballet and the obscure and also beautifully illustrated 28 Paradises. Little Jewel is a fine, disconcerting, and expertly executed novel — sad and thought-provoking — and a good representative of Modiano’s fiction from 1968 to 2001. 4.5 Modiano stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Robson

    I have to admit I’m obsessed by Patrick Modiano. Like Modiano, I believe memory and identity are everything and the author has made both themes his playground; he is the master of both - studying the elusive nature of memory and what the lack of a concrete identity can do to a person. Many of his characters have gaps in their past, strange incidents they can’t fully recall, a parent who disappears for long stretches of time or acquaintances that don’t reveal their real names. In Little Jewell hi I have to admit I’m obsessed by Patrick Modiano. Like Modiano, I believe memory and identity are everything and the author has made both themes his playground; he is the master of both - studying the elusive nature of memory and what the lack of a concrete identity can do to a person. Many of his characters have gaps in their past, strange incidents they can’t fully recall, a parent who disappears for long stretches of time or acquaintances that don’t reveal their real names. In Little Jewell his main character is a woman. Nineteen year old Therese is a lost soul, wandering the streets of Paris, without a stable home environment and only the odd job to get by on. She was told that her mother died in Morocco twelve years ago but one night she sees a woman in a yellow coat she believes is her mother. “A wide avenue, lined with apartment buildings, on the border between Vincennes and Saint-Mande. Night was falling. She crossed the avenue and went into a phone box. I waited for the lights to change a few times, and then I crossed too. In the phone box, she took a while to find change or a token. I feigned interest in the window of the nearest shop, a chemist displaying the poster that terrified me in my childhood: the devil blowing fire out of his mouth. I turned away. She dialled a number slowly, as if for the fist time and then held the receiver against her ear with both hands. But there was no answer.” I have only just begun to work my way through his novels but I find them very satisfying to read. Perception and inertia play their part to in preventing Modiano’s characters from finding peace. It seems his prose also lulls the reader too. I was definitely surprised by the ending. An ending that has a hint of danger but then that’s just my perception of the last few pages. Another reader may feel differently.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gill

    'Little Jewel ' by Patrick Modiano (originally published 2001) 3.5 stars, 7 out of 10 I have previously read The Night Watch (originally published 1969) and Ring Roads (originally published 1972), both with a different translator from 'Little Jewel'. I have also seen the film Lucien Lacombe (1974), for which Modiano collaborated with Louis Malle on the screen play. I read 'Little Jewel' because I was interested to see how Modiano's writing has developed. This translation into English of 'Little Jew 'Little Jewel ' by Patrick Modiano (originally published 2001) 3.5 stars, 7 out of 10 I have previously read The Night Watch (originally published 1969) and Ring Roads (originally published 1972), both with a different translator from 'Little Jewel'. I have also seen the film Lucien Lacombe (1974), for which Modiano collaborated with Louis Malle on the screen play. I read 'Little Jewel' because I was interested to see how Modiano's writing has developed. This translation into English of 'Little Jewel' is published in the UK in 2016. The story opens with the young female narrator (a first for Modiano) seeing a woman in a yellow coat on the Metro, whom she thinks may be her mother who has abandoned her. The story goes through many twists and turns, and backwards and forwards in time, as we gradually learn a bit more about the narrator, her childhood, her growing up, her relationship with her mother. I found the story absorbing, and liked the way that the aspects of the various characters were gradually revealed. Although this was in the first person throughout, I found it reminiscent of the way that William Faulkner develops his stories through multiple voices. As in previous novels, Paris itself is a main character in the novel. I appreciated this greatly, but I think this aspect would be more meaningful to me, if I had a more detailed personal knowledge of the city. I didn't find the writing in this novel as 'edgy' as I did in Modiano's earlier works. Here there is a more elegiac feel. I wonder whether there is any connection with there being a different translator? I have read several reviews and articles concerning Modiano, that compare his work with that of W.G. Sebald. This is an interesting comparison, and is much more apparent to me in this novel than in his earlier works. I look forward to more of Patrick Modiano's work being translated into English. Thank you to Yale University Press and to NetGalley for an ARC.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maksym Karpovets

    I am nothing. Nothing but a pale shape, silhouetted that evening against the café terrace, waiting for the rain to stop. P.Modiano. Missing Person It was my second meeting with Patrcik Modiano. I clearly remember his sixth novel Rue des Boutiques Obscures which was written in 1978 (he was awarded with by the Prix Goncourt). In that text Modiano had developed his main theme of memory and he continued that in La Petite Bijou. You could call it poetic prose or metaphysical detective or anything you I am nothing. Nothing but a pale shape, silhouetted that evening against the café terrace, waiting for the rain to stop. P.Modiano. Missing Person It was my second meeting with Patrcik Modiano. I clearly remember his sixth novel Rue des Boutiques Obscures which was written in 1978 (he was awarded with by the Prix Goncourt). In that text Modiano had developed his main theme of memory and he continued that in La Petite Bijou. You could call it poetic prose or metaphysical detective or anything you want, because Modiano tries to unit different techniques in order to observe human personality. According to Modiano and his mini-novel La Petite Bijou we couldn’t exist without past. That’s why main character (18-year-old girl) is looking for key for her past. This psychoanalytical operation sounds fine but in real text I got bored with this question every time I tried to unit all threads of this story. If you’re looking for atmosphere you’ll get it. In this novel poetic part is bigger that prosaic. Logically, that the right key for this world is how do you feel it, but not how do you understand it. Sometimes I think that Modiano doesn’t really care about characters and he argues with postulate that everything is determined by transcendental powers (whatever it could be – destiny, history or God). The place is more important in Modiano’s novels that people. It seems that he believes that we are not define the world, but world defines us. And nothing can be done with it. 3

  8. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    These are a few phrases that come to mind when reading Modiano: poetic dullness, mysterious overtones, sad undertones and unfulfilled storyline. I've tried, but I can't connect with his writing. The disconnect, after two novellas, is more than enough to make me not want to read him again. Thank you to Goodreads and Yale University Press for giving this to me for an honest review. This relationship ends here, Patrick. It's you, not me. These are a few phrases that come to mind when reading Modiano: poetic dullness, mysterious overtones, sad undertones and unfulfilled storyline. I've tried, but I can't connect with his writing. The disconnect, after two novellas, is more than enough to make me not want to read him again. Thank you to Goodreads and Yale University Press for giving this to me for an honest review. This relationship ends here, Patrick. It's you, not me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rebecka

    Weird, but very good! There are at least three different stories of interestt here, and they're all just left hanging, which is both intriguing and a bit frustrating. Weird, but very good! There are at least three different stories of interestt here, and they're all just left hanging, which is both intriguing and a bit frustrating.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    She's 19 and it's been 12 years since she saw last saw her mom. She had been told her mom had died in Morocco. So who is this woman she saw at the Metro Châtelet who looks so much like her mom? She follows her. This will be the start of her mental breakdown. So far, she'd kept it together, the memory of her unstable childhood with an unstable mother and the absence of her father. Seeing her dead mom bring everything to the surface. She was unloved, yes, but unloved to the point of being abandon She's 19 and it's been 12 years since she saw last saw her mom. She had been told her mom had died in Morocco. So who is this woman she saw at the Metro Châtelet who looks so much like her mom? She follows her. This will be the start of her mental breakdown. So far, she'd kept it together, the memory of her unstable childhood with an unstable mother and the absence of her father. Seeing her dead mom bring everything to the surface. She was unloved, yes, but unloved to the point of being abandoned by the only parent she had left? She cracks. This is a poignant short story by Modiano (Nobel Prize 2014) that talks about neglected children and the solitude of pain. The style is very elegant, measured and respectful.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I am working my way through Modiano books and i love them .i am sorry i have discovered him so late in life, my younger self would have been enchanted by them.The lone young woman in this story in search of her mother and anyone else who pays attention to her is very melancholy.She attached herself to men she meets at cafes one who is a translator,and becomes a sort of nanny to a young girl in a mysterious family ,who have no time for her. the streets are dark lonely foggy and then she thinks sh I am working my way through Modiano books and i love them .i am sorry i have discovered him so late in life, my younger self would have been enchanted by them.The lone young woman in this story in search of her mother and anyone else who pays attention to her is very melancholy.She attached herself to men she meets at cafes one who is a translator,and becomes a sort of nanny to a young girl in a mysterious family ,who have no time for her. the streets are dark lonely foggy and then she thinks she has found out more about her mother who left her and ran away with someone to Morocco.Later in the book the skies are Morocco Blue as she makes her way trying to figure out her life. I love the image of her following the woman in the yellow coat a scene that could become a painting. Such beautiful if longing writing ,he is very unique in his style.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michalis

    I think now I get why almost all of Modiano's books are so short. He doesn't have much to write, and what he writes isn't overly exciting. But the way he writes is fantastic. La Petite Bijou is a descent into the hell that is memory and the struggle of defining what is reality and what is lie. Memory forges our identities. It is our past, present and quite possibly, future. I didn't love it, didn't hate it, will certainly read more of him. I think now I get why almost all of Modiano's books are so short. He doesn't have much to write, and what he writes isn't overly exciting. But the way he writes is fantastic. La Petite Bijou is a descent into the hell that is memory and the struggle of defining what is reality and what is lie. Memory forges our identities. It is our past, present and quite possibly, future. I didn't love it, didn't hate it, will certainly read more of him.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lotten

    In Swedish: https://lottensbokblogg.wordpress.com... In Swedish: https://lottensbokblogg.wordpress.com...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Patrick Modiano's Little Jewel is perhaps his most desolate novel. The narrator, Thérèse, called only Little Jewel throughout the book, is a child who has been abandoned by disaffected parents. Her mother supposedly has died in Morocco, and the novel opens by Little Jewel (LJ) following a woman in a yellow coat who looks just like her. Alas, she is too frightened to directly confront her. There are only three people in her life who have been kind to her: Her supposed uncle Jean Borand, a translat Patrick Modiano's Little Jewel is perhaps his most desolate novel. The narrator, Thérèse, called only Little Jewel throughout the book, is a child who has been abandoned by disaffected parents. Her mother supposedly has died in Morocco, and the novel opens by Little Jewel (LJ) following a woman in a yellow coat who looks just like her. Alas, she is too frightened to directly confront her. There are only three people in her life who have been kind to her: Her supposed uncle Jean Borand, a translator named Moreau-Badmaev, and a pharmacist who accompanies her when she is looking particularly lonely, desolate, and frightened. And LJ is that for most of the book. As in all of Modiano's books that I have read, the City of Paris is a character in its own right. LJ's journeys through the city via Metro are almost mappable. There is a particularly sad scene in which LJ's little dog is taken out by her mother for a walk and is reported by her as having been lost in the Bois de Boulogne. Yet she returns from the walk with the dog's leash.

  15. 5 out of 5

    William Kuhn

    This is a short atmospheric book. If you love contemporary Paris, I think you'll like it. But it's more about mood and interior dialogue and recollection than it is about plot. The narrator has a complex relationship with her mother, who abandoned her when she was a girl. She doesn't know what happened to her mother afterwards. One day she sees a woman in the Metro who she thinks is her mother, who has possibly reappeared in Paris after a long absence. Along the way she meets a strangely sympath This is a short atmospheric book. If you love contemporary Paris, I think you'll like it. But it's more about mood and interior dialogue and recollection than it is about plot. The narrator has a complex relationship with her mother, who abandoned her when she was a girl. She doesn't know what happened to her mother afterwards. One day she sees a woman in the Metro who she thinks is her mother, who has possibly reappeared in Paris after a long absence. Along the way she meets a strangely sympathetic pharmacist, a translator, and a little girl who appears to be as abandoned as she was. But you come away with the feeling that the narrator has been too profoundly injured by what happened in her childhood ever to recover from it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Oliver

    I thought it pretty lame. Like many before me reviewed; teenage girl rumbles around Paris, and dwells upon the past. Might have been good if the story actually lead somewhere. But now it just seems like bits and pieces, all scattered. No real wrap-up. Makes no real sense. Promised much but didnt deliver in my opinion. Besides the plot, I found the language jagged maybe due to the Swedish translation(?).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leni

    A bittersweet story, mostly bitter I'd say, about a girl with a troubled childhood, due to her irresponsible, indifferent mother, who turned into a lost young woman reliving the past and yearning for closure. I love the way Modiano offers you long walks around Paris and short insights into troubled characters. This was my second book of his and I've come to the conclusion that I find them indulging, especially when I'm in reading slump. A bittersweet story, mostly bitter I'd say, about a girl with a troubled childhood, due to her irresponsible, indifferent mother, who turned into a lost young woman reliving the past and yearning for closure. I love the way Modiano offers you long walks around Paris and short insights into troubled characters. This was my second book of his and I've come to the conclusion that I find them indulging, especially when I'm in reading slump.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cristina

    I read books to enjoy a good story or learn a lesson. This one had neither.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

    Little Jewel is the 16th book by Patrick Modiano that I have read, and I can say it is one of my favorites. It is the first I have read that is written from a female point of view—19 year old Thérèse Cardères. Like so many of his books, the timeline and settings follow that of Modiano's life. It is a retrospective looking back to about 1966, when Modiano himself was 19. It is helpful to have a good map of Paris when reading anything by him, because Paris becomes one of the main characters in mos Little Jewel is the 16th book by Patrick Modiano that I have read, and I can say it is one of my favorites. It is the first I have read that is written from a female point of view—19 year old Thérèse Cardères. Like so many of his books, the timeline and settings follow that of Modiano's life. It is a retrospective looking back to about 1966, when Modiano himself was 19. It is helpful to have a good map of Paris when reading anything by him, because Paris becomes one of the main characters in most of his books, and Little Jewel is no exception. There are scores of street names and metro stations mentioned as well as Bois de Boulogne to the west and Vincennes to the east. All figure prominently in the story.Thérèse is a pathetic young lady, living mostly alone in Paris in a Montmartre apartment where she spent the first 7 years of her life, and has just recently moved into again, desperately seeking her roots. One day she is on the moving walkway at the Châtelet metro station in the 3rd arrondissement when she sees a woman in a yellow coat. The woman looks like the mother that abandoned Thérèse twelve years ago. The woman goes into a phone booth and makes a phone call. Thérèse follows her and gets on the same train as the woman, who she thinks had died in Morocco at least 6 years ago. She follows her all the way to Vincennes, the last stop on the line just east of metro Paris. She follows her to her apartment where the concierge informs her that the woman is Madame Boré. We soon learn that she was born Suzanne Borand, married as Carderas, took the stage name Comtesse Sonia O'Dauyé, and later had nicknames of "the Kraut" and "Death Cheater". We also learn that she was a failure as a professional dancer, and obviously was not cut out to be a mother. Along the way she named her daughter "Little Jewel", as she desperately wanted a stage career for her daughter, and Thérèse figures so that she would have something of value in her life.Thérèse is between jobs as the story begins and she is soon hired as a part time babysitter for the Valadier family in Bois de Boulogne. The mother, has a seven year old daughter who will be the charge of Thérèse, who soon learns that she and the daughter have a lot in common. She senses that the child is not happy. Vera and her husband think it is important that their daughter grows up to be independent and self reliant. They frequently leave her alone, and often overnight. They want to break her of her habit of always having a nightlight on. They never refer to her by name—it is always just "she" or "her". The parents come and go at irregular hours, and there is some suspicion that they may be doing something illegal.Thérèse has only one friend—an older man who translates a score of foreign languages into French for some publisher. Besides being nearly friendless, she is in poor health, though she is befriended by a woman pharmacist who becomes an important person in her life. The bulk of the book is about how Thérèse struggles with not knowing if or how or when she should confront her mother.

  20. 5 out of 5

    SweetSweeede

    I might just not be intellectual enough to appreciate Nobel Prize winning literature, because this did nothing for me. I might have gained a bit more depression from it, but I tend to not want to get depressed from reading. The repetition of phrases was probably some clever literary technique that I wasn't clever enough to understand the point of, and it ended up annoying me instead. Same with the place name dropping. I love Paris, but what was up with all the detailed accounts of metro stops an I might just not be intellectual enough to appreciate Nobel Prize winning literature, because this did nothing for me. I might have gained a bit more depression from it, but I tend to not want to get depressed from reading. The repetition of phrases was probably some clever literary technique that I wasn't clever enough to understand the point of, and it ended up annoying me instead. Same with the place name dropping. I love Paris, but what was up with all the detailed accounts of metro stops and streets etc.? I would have liked closure, the tying up of loose ends and a clear purpose and character development of the lead. But hey, maybe that's just me. (I should mention the book was a gift from one of my bosses, so don't tell him I wasn't smart enough to appreciate it, 'kay?)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mihaela Cliza

    I did not like the writing style, I felt that at some point some chapters were left unfinised, while starting writing about something else. It created the impression of jumping from one idea to another. Not to mention the ending of the book... when you don't have any other ideeas left, kill the character and if possible the dramatic the better (suicide is perferct). I am quite amazed how this book has actually received Nobel Prize in 2014 (at least per my understanding) and can be actually put s I did not like the writing style, I felt that at some point some chapters were left unfinised, while starting writing about something else. It created the impression of jumping from one idea to another. Not to mention the ending of the book... when you don't have any other ideeas left, kill the character and if possible the dramatic the better (suicide is perferct). I am quite amazed how this book has actually received Nobel Prize in 2014 (at least per my understanding) and can be actually put side-to-side with Quo Vadis, Senkevich's book, which was also grated Nobel Prize, but in different timelines.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ci

    A young woman wandering through life in a miasma of loss and melancholy, encountering two separate individuals who offer her undemanding attention and understanding. Theresa was a fragile, broken person living in the lingering terror of being abandoned by her mother. Her searching through memory was largely futile to give her the closure, yet the strength from kind strangers finally give her the chance to jump off her infinite looping of loss and pain. It is suitable for intermediate level of no A young woman wandering through life in a miasma of loss and melancholy, encountering two separate individuals who offer her undemanding attention and understanding. Theresa was a fragile, broken person living in the lingering terror of being abandoned by her mother. Her searching through memory was largely futile to give her the closure, yet the strength from kind strangers finally give her the chance to jump off her infinite looping of loss and pain. It is suitable for intermediate level of non-native French reader.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sofie Strömvall

    Took me forever to figure out what the story really was about. The first part was pretty slow. Same thing happened over and over again for about the first 80 pages. The second part offered more hope and events that were new to the story which was nice. If you look at the ending with a symbolic point of view it's good. If you look a the ending quite literally it's depressing and wrong. I wanted so much to like this. But in the end it turned out to be just okay. Not bad. Not great. But in the midd Took me forever to figure out what the story really was about. The first part was pretty slow. Same thing happened over and over again for about the first 80 pages. The second part offered more hope and events that were new to the story which was nice. If you look at the ending with a symbolic point of view it's good. If you look a the ending quite literally it's depressing and wrong. I wanted so much to like this. But in the end it turned out to be just okay. Not bad. Not great. But in the middle somewhere.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Modiano may be my new favorite author. I love books with an ethereal mood, but I'm used to reading them in fantasy (Patricia McKillip is my favorite), not in fiction. This narrator moves freely among story-telling, imagination and dreams. Each place that she moves through in Paris seems to evoke episodes from her past, but she also imagines her mother's past. It even ends abruptly, almost as if the reader is awoken from a dream. Modiano may be my new favorite author. I love books with an ethereal mood, but I'm used to reading them in fantasy (Patricia McKillip is my favorite), not in fiction. This narrator moves freely among story-telling, imagination and dreams. Each place that she moves through in Paris seems to evoke episodes from her past, but she also imagines her mother's past. It even ends abruptly, almost as if the reader is awoken from a dream.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adam Black

    I don't remember the last time I felt so uneasy reading a book. Deceptively simple, yet persistently ominous, I was immediately hooked, while the economy of words and dubious mental state of the female lead brought to mind The Bell Jar. I don't remember the last time I felt so uneasy reading a book. Deceptively simple, yet persistently ominous, I was immediately hooked, while the economy of words and dubious mental state of the female lead brought to mind The Bell Jar.

  26. 5 out of 5

    readwith_us

    i can't write anything about this book cause really i didn't like anything about it i can't write anything about this book cause really i didn't like anything about it

  27. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    I suspect I will be thinking about this book over the coming days. Thérèse, the narrator, is a nineteen-year-old woman with a mysterious and troubled past, a past she is reawakened to after seeing a woman in a yellow coat at the Metro station, a woman who has the features of the mother who abandoned her as a child and was reported deceased in Morocco years later. Thérèse becomes obsessed with the woman, following her home, prying information about her from the concierge where she lives, but neve I suspect I will be thinking about this book over the coming days. Thérèse, the narrator, is a nineteen-year-old woman with a mysterious and troubled past, a past she is reawakened to after seeing a woman in a yellow coat at the Metro station, a woman who has the features of the mother who abandoned her as a child and was reported deceased in Morocco years later. Thérèse becomes obsessed with the woman, following her home, prying information about her from the concierge where she lives, but never directly confronting the woman with the logical question, "Are you my mother?" Later, she takes a part time job as a nanny to a young girl who is abandoned by her indifferent parents, as Thérèse had been by her mother ... sent off by train with her name tag around her neck to live with friends away from Paris. And later, she also encounters a female pharmacist who is concerned about Thérèse's health, both physical and psychological, and who goes home with her and looks after her, testing her forehead, helping her sleep, behaving almost as a proper mother would toward her child. That woman is instrumental in both saving and rebirthing Thérèse. Throughout the novel, Thérèse wanders Paris, with various iconic places reviving memories from her childhood, the Gare de Lyon, for example, helping her reconnect to that lost childhood and remember more of it. Despite the somberness of Little Jewel, it is also a hopeful book, and a book that reminds the reader of the power of human kindness to ease a suffering soul. It is an intriguing exploration of the impact of childhood on the adult psyche, of the power of memory to intrude upon the present, and a compelling read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Toward the end of “Little Jewel”, a friend says to Thérèse, the nineteen-year-old Parisian at the center of this meditative morsel of a book, “I get the impression that you’re preoccupied by your childhood memories.” Given the nature of most Modiano protagonists (and to the author himself), this registers as understatement. Thérèse confesses that it has only been since an inciting incident that she’s begun to look back, struggling to make sense of her unusual upbringing. This incident—that of se Toward the end of “Little Jewel”, a friend says to Thérèse, the nineteen-year-old Parisian at the center of this meditative morsel of a book, “I get the impression that you’re preoccupied by your childhood memories.” Given the nature of most Modiano protagonists (and to the author himself), this registers as understatement. Thérèse confesses that it has only been since an inciting incident that she’s begun to look back, struggling to make sense of her unusual upbringing. This incident—that of seeing a woman she feels may be her mother (who abandoned her years ago and, she believed, died in Morocco) on the metro—opens the novel. As she obsesses, she also unwinds. Thérèse relives her traumas, in the form of involuntary memories (brought upon by street names, phone numbers, and the mere mention of dogs) as well as facsimile experiences. She nannies for a young girl who is largely ignored by her callous parents and recognizes, in the unnamed girl’s eyes, the same fear and displacement she felt. She is antagonized by place, living in the same building her mother once occupied. She needs to connect, be taken care of; but her aching, interrupted childhood makes that connection a difficult one indeed. As is often the case with Modiano, loose ends fray and epiphanic moments occur only in the quiet edges. RIYL: pharmacists that really go all-out, kirs, coats that were at one point fashionable, the cliff notes of Proust.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laetitia

    The booklet reads easily, the details evaporate quickly, but the atmosphere sticks. And I think that's exactly in line with Modiano's themes; there's always something elusive, the protagonists and the readers can remain unsure of what's real and what's not, and even though the cities and towns seem real, the protagonists (at times) almost seem to live in some kind of alternative, parallel world. This book fit into this image perfectly, sketching an image of a quiet, dimly lit Paris, neon lights, The booklet reads easily, the details evaporate quickly, but the atmosphere sticks. And I think that's exactly in line with Modiano's themes; there's always something elusive, the protagonists and the readers can remain unsure of what's real and what's not, and even though the cities and towns seem real, the protagonists (at times) almost seem to live in some kind of alternative, parallel world. This book fit into this image perfectly, sketching an image of a quiet, dimly lit Paris, neon lights, and the shadows and ghosts of past times, memories, and fantasies passing through. In my opinion, Modiano succeeds in avoiding perspectives or descriptions that are all too male gazey, and the theme of poignant loneliness - and especially, the suffocating fear of being lonely - is convincing and touchingly recognizable.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    While this book shares some similarities with other Modiano works -- Paris noir, a sense of foreboding and abandonment, and evocative descriptions -- this is the first of his books (that I have read so far) where his protagonist is a woman. And he is adept at writing from that viewpoint as well. This is another masterwork from Modiano.

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