Saturday, 22 July 2017

Talking Books: These Dividing Walls

These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper

This is a book about one recent summer in Paris, told from the view point of the inhabitants of one traditional building which has been split into several apartments. There are all walks of life living in the building and much of the story was told from the viewpoint of the young British visitor to the city.

Each of the building's inhabitants has their own story but they all become interconnected as wider political events within France rise to the surface and boil over with the weather.

This book felt very familiar in some ways, the trope of using one building to tell a story for instance, and also the tourist in a strange city but it was so much more than this and it became a real page turner - was the young mother going mad? Why was the homeless man watching the building? It was the main plot of how racism takes root and grows which really grabbed me by the throat and turned the book into a real page turner.

While the events in this book are fictional they are all too real and I think that, coupled with the well written descriptions of Paris during a heatwave make this book a really vivid read, in fact I was surprised to find that it wasn't a French book translated into English!

(This book was provided as a proof by Net Galley but it is now published)

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