Translated from the French by Adriana Hunter
Enough About Love is a contemporary novel that follows two very similar couples and their relationships. In that respect, it reminds me of the last book I posted on, The Odd Women. That novel also charted the parallel relationships of two couples. In Enough About Love our couples are Anna and Yves and Thomas and Louise. Anna and Louise are described as almost the same person – both very attractive, approaching 40 and successful professionals. Also, both married with children. Yves and Thomas are also quite similar – in their 50’s, quiet and smitten with these women who come into their lives so unexpectedly.
The difference lies in the women and their reaction and feelings about these new relationships. Louise immediately recognizes Thomas as someone she wants to leave her husband for and promptly does so. She smoothly transitions into life with him. Anna, however, has concerns and doubts about Yves as a person and about herself. She desperately waffles back and forth until finally deciding which path their relationship will take.
This novel’s structure reminded me of that of A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. Each chapter focuses on a different character’s or group of characters perspective and how they related to each other. There were also a couple of chapters that employed the use of non-traditional narrative forms including one where the text of a speech that Yves is delivering is printed on one side of the page and the thoughts of one of the audience members is printed on the other side.
I enjoyed the philosophical questions that were unearthed by the travails of the characters and the dissection of language and aging that was also a large part of the novel. It seemed very French to me. So did the laid back attitude toward adultery. None of the characters really feels guilty about engaging in extramarital affairs and they all even involve their children in these relationships.
This book seems at first to be a simple story of falling in love, but the more I think about it the more fruitful it appears. I set the book down many times mid-read to ponder a point raised by one of the characters. To me, that is one of the marks of successful literature.
Enough About Love is a book I probably wouldn’t have read if not for Paris in July. That’s why I love these blogging events that introduce us to new authors and genres we’d normally skip over.