Posts Tagged Veronique Olmi

Entertainment Realm’s 20 Picks for Best Fiction of 2012 [11-20]

Making lists of my favorite books, music, films proves challenging every year. Thus I’m making a list of 20. To put it in perspective, I’ve read 90 books at this writing. I have a few in progress. Here are the one’s that I keep thinking about and recommending to others [If I reviewed it, I linked to the review]:

make it stay

11. Make It Stay by Joan Frank [Permanent Press]

divorce islamic style

12. Divorce Islamic Style by Amara Lakhous [Europa]

the lion is in

13. The Lion is In by Delia Ephron [Blue Rider Press]

beside the sea

14. Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi [Tin House Books]

news from spain

15. The News from Spain by Joan Wickersham [Knopf]

hemingway's girl

16. Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck [NAL, 2012]


17. Threats by Amelia Gray [Farrar, Straus and Giroux]


18. MISS FULLER by April Bernard [SteerForth Press]


19. Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara [Viking]

unattended death

20. An Unattended Death by Victoria Jenkins [The Permanent Press]

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Beside the Sea: book review

Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi (Translated from French by Adriana Hunter). Publisher: Tin House Books (September 2012). Fiction. Hardcover. 119 pages. ISBN: 978-1935639428.

I’m the only one who’s so exhausted, didn’t I used to long to be knocked down by a car and break my leg so I’d finally have a good enough reason to be left in peace? When am I going to be left in peace? I’m just missing a few chemicals, yes, that’s what I tell myself when I swallow my pills, I’ve got fewer chemicals than other people . . . maybe it’s that simple, maybe that’s all it is: a few more chemicals . . . a few less . . .

In her first novel, French playwright Veronique Olmi provides a devastating, unnerving and realistic portrait of depression. The author unfurls these details within a confined space, time and realm as the subject, a single mother of two young sons, feels them herself. Trapped by limited choices and poor decisions. Feeling alienated by society. Hearing voices, seeing things, sleeping poorly. Lonely. Immense physical pains. Aching throughout her body. Swearing and short-tempered with her children one minute and smothering them with kisses and attention the next. Feeling an inadequate mother as she recalls showing up late again to pick up her son at school or that her son’s don’t have everything that other children might have. She’s struggling. She’s tired. She takes her boys to see the ocean. A pile of change in hand, she will spare nothing for their happiness on this one day. Is this their last day? Is it her last day? It’s dark and elegantly written. And you won’t want to stop reading it once you’ve started.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from the publisher.

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