Les Années: My Review

{Right, don’t get confused, this is the only picture I had, and I read Hamlet at the same time – which I just finished too – so it turned out that way…}

This is actually a book that I read for my literature class, but trust me, it was amazing. It was written by French author Annie Ernaux, and the title means “The Years”. According to Goodreads, it has only been translated into Italian and Slovenian, unfortunately. It was published in 2008, and it’s a pity they didn’t translate it in English, because it was amazing. Wait, I have already said that.

So, what is it about?

First of all, what you need to know is that it is an autobiography. But it’s not your classical autobiography. The author wanted to write something different, and she clearly managed to do that. Through the description of pictures and events, and using the third person singular (or first person plural), she talks about her life, personal things that happened to her, and historical facts that happened in France in general.

She was born during World War Two, in 1940, and grew up in a small town in Normandy with her parents. As a teenager, she was full of dreams and expectations. We all are, in a way, aren’t we? She later became a literature teacher, and moved to Paris.

She got married and had two boys, but it turned out this kind of life wasn’t fit for her, and she later got a divorce.

She deals with sensible subjects such as abortion, divorce, and feminism in general, which is probably why I loved this book so much (I read another book by her last year, and didn’t enjoy it that much). She also talks about politics, family, and tons of subjects that can be relatable to everyone. Basically, she shows how life can be so full of ups and downs.

She also explains how writing has always been something she wanted to do, but she had to wait to be retired to write the majority of her work. And to produce such a jewel, I guess the wait was worth it!

The writing style is also really enjoyable.

This is a book that will move you inside. It changed me, I felt it making me think about my country, about our past. I learnt a lot. It has officially made it to the list of “books that changed my life”!

Why everyone should read it: the tone is a bit impersonal (since while talking about herself, she uses the third person singular or the first person plural) and it makes it relatable. It makes the reader think. And it is an interesting point of view when it comes to France’s recent history!

My rating:

★★★★★

Obviously ♥

Annie Ernaux is still alive today, and lives in the Parisian suburbs. Most of her work is partyly autobiographical. (And I just dreamt that I followed her in the streets to get an autograph, to show you how much this book has affected me…)

Here is the Goodreads link, if you are curious.

Donc si vous parlez Français, n’hésitez pas à aller le lire, ce livre est fantastique, et m’a grandement marquée ! Je vous le recommande grandement, et j’adorerais connaître votre opinion si vous l’avez lu !

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