Saturday, 2 July 2011

Breaking Away

First published in French as L'Échappée belle, Anna Gavalda's Breaking Away is indeed a beautiful escape. Short, yet prefectly formed, it's more of a novella at 142 pages of charming prose translated into English by Alison Anderson.

I hadn't even sat down yet, one buttock still hovering, my hand on the car door, and already my sister-in-law was on the attack.

Whilst the plot is simple, a car journey to a wedding, the relationships between siblings are at the core of the story. Two sisters, two brothers and a sister-in-law who is undoubtedly the outsider, most readers will relate to the characters in some way and it's a lovely slice of family life. It's witty and hits the nail firmly on the head. A top notch summer read, especially if you've not got much time to spare!

I will certainly be looking up more of Anna Gavalda's work in future. Thank you to Gallic Books for providing me with a copy to review.

Buy the paperback | Kindle edition on


  1. This sounds good. I'm one of 7 children so I know all about siblings lol!

  2. I sounds like that quote you chose hits the theme of the book right on the head.

    Looking forward to more French-themed posts from you this month!

  3. Sounds lovely! I have a book by Anna Gavalda (actually, I think it's a bind-up of two of her books), but I haven't got round to reading it yet... Maybe now is the time! :)

  4. Oh, too funny. I just looked...that's the Anna Gavalda that I borrowed from the library, except in the Europa edition it's called French Leave. I thought your synopsis sounded familiar! Probably won't read it for another week or so, but I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it.


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