Monday, 31 October 2011

I am back! And gain of love, hope, and justice - Katrin Pancol's La Valse Lente des Tortues

It has been nearly two months that I have been someone else. Being someone else is quite exhausting; it takes all of your time to forget who you are and remember what the other one, the one you are trying to be, is. It is all about restricting your desires and your words constantly and substituting them with your "wanna-be" self's. It took me so much time to do this that I literally had no time to read or write. Fortunately, my schizophrenic phase is over. I quite enjoyed it while it lasted but I feel that I couldn't take care of two people simultaneously. One (real me) is enough so this me is back. With a favorite author of mine and a favorite topic of mine - love.

She is again here and I've missed her a lot. Josephine. Shy, insecure, not self-confident, and clumsy, she is the kind of character that always wins your heard. This is so for a simple reason; she is just a good person. The ones that don't belong to our cynical world. The ones that care and love innocently, without playing games, without pretending, and without acting. You meet them so rarely that you have no other choice but to embrace and to love them. Jo is a real person; one not fooled by the rules of society, one not putting on a mask, one opening her heart to people completely and utterly. In Les Yeux Jaunes Des Crocodiles (The Yellow Eyes of the Crocodiles) I met Jo for the first time and I recognized so many of my traits in her. I couldn't wait for the sequel. Finally, La Valse Lente des Tortues (The Turtles' Slow Waltz) is a fact in Bulgarian and I am sure I was amongst the first ones to buy it. I wasn't disappointed.

Katherine Pancol is the writer I remembered. Always believing in the good in people, always claiming that at the end everyone gets what they deserve. Quite hopeful for our cynical society but also quite enjoyable to read. In the second part of the trilogy we find Jo at a difficult point in her life. She is trying to deal with the recent tragic death of her ex-husband, who was eaten by crocodiles in Kenya. Unfortunately, hope is still alive as the girls receive letters that look like from their father, claiming he is alive. The truth about Jo's book, which she wrote for Iris is out now, so Jo's spoiled sister is curing her broken nerves in a mental institution. Josephine, on the other hand, is rich now. Her older daughter, Ortance, is in London, ready to do anything to become a fashion designer. Josephine's relationship with the mysterious Luca is on the verge of a breakdown because of his total lack of understanding and care. On top of all, Jo starts falling in love with the worst possible man. In order to make the situation even "more enjoyable", Pancol adds a few mysterious murders.

Despite this unsuccessful attempts to incorporate murder in a family drama (I say despite them because they really ruin the book) I loved the sequel. Mostly, I enjoyed the metaphor with turtles - animals that advance slowly but at the end they always reach their purpose. Of course, having to endure ridicule, humiliation, and pain. Although Katherine Pancol is quite naive and cheesy at moments, she still makes me believe in justice. Justice that will triumph only for those who deserve it - Jo, Ortance, Philipp, Shirley, Marcel, and Zoe. She makes me believe that there exists love that doesn't demand, doesn't criticize, doesn't attempt to change, but simply loves, accepts, and cherishes. That you don't have to be someone else to be loved and that there is nothing in the world you can do to make someone love you and know you if he/she doesn't want to.

Katherine Pancol is an easy read. It says simple things about simple events in a simple life. I like her literature even though it is far away from my actual preferences. It doesn't provoke my thoughts, it doesn't make me read until late at night, and definitely it doesn't make me jump out of the chair saying "Oh, wait, this is genious!" However (there is always a but in every aspect of life) in times I need some nice trivial stories that bring me back up when I have spent too much time down. For this purpose, Pancol is amazing. For the metaphysical questions and the purpose of life - please seek elsewhere.

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