Book Review: Delicacy by David Foenkinos

DelicacyCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: Losing her beloved husband after only seven years of marriage, heartbroken widow Natalie steels herself against emotional attachments until she unexpectedly falls in for her offbeat, guileless co-worker, Markus, who represents the opposite of everything.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Setting: Modern day Paris
My Copy Came From: I purchased a used paperback at a local library book sale.

*** this post contains affiliate links ***

Review: A quick read, but it’s a bit of a mess.

Delicacy by David Foenkinos was a book that I’m not sure I really understood. While it was a quick read, just 250 pages long, I didn’t understand the point and thought it was bland.

Delicacy tells the story of Natalie, a woman who has married the love of her life, when he is hit by a car while jogging and killed. Natalie then goes through life, and eventually meets a coworker, named Markus whom she starts a relationship with.

I didn’t care much for either Natalie or Markus, not that there was anything really wrong with either character, but I just thought they were very boring. I didn’t feel any excitement in their romance, or any drive for them to be together while reading this.

I read this book in one day, so it’s a very fast read. A movie, by the same name, was made based on the book, starring Audrey Tautou as Natalie, and I found myself very puzzled why on earth this was made into a movie. I think this may be one of those books that plays better on the screen than on the page, and I’d be interested in watching the movie at some point.

There are several scenes here that would be considered workplace harassment, and I found myself just cringing during all of these scenes. What is portrayed as romantic just felt like harassment to me, and I just did not get the appeal here.

There are odd footnotes throughout the book, which didn’t work for me. I just felt the footnotes were odd and unnecessary, and the book jumped around between Natalie’s thoughts, Markus’s thoughts, and the thoughts of Charles, Natalie’s boss. I didn’t connect with any of the characters, and just was very puzzled by this book, like I missed something of importance about it.

Bottom Line: A fast read, but I just didn’t get it.

***the Amazon links are affiliate links which means I receive a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase***
Amazon    Book   |   Movie

**I read this book because I’m trying something new with my reading this year. I want this year’s reading focus to be on books that I already have on my shelves, instead of purchasing new books. I have a list of all of the books that I have, and when I don’t immediately know what I want to read next, I will choose a random number and read the book that corresponds with that number. This was my fourth “random draw” of the year, and that may be why I felt very blah about this read.

Have you read Delicacy? Have you seen the movie? Is it worth watching?


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Delicacy by David Foenkinos

  1. It’s insane that typically women write novels in which men harass women in an attempt to be charming, and the women fall for it! Alicia at Kernels of Nonsense and I have talked about how we both love You’ve Got Mail despite the stalking sort of behavior and ruining Meg Ryan’s character’s career even though he knew she was his e-friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! It’s one of those things where I like it when a guy doesn’t give up right away (like in You’ve Got Mail, or 27 Dresses – basically almost any romantic comedy!), but where’s the line between cute and creepy?
      And this book, which was written by a man, had both men and women harassing each other – there’s a male boss going after his female employee, and then the female employee in turn goes after a man she supervises. It was just an odd read – everything was portrayed as completely acceptable behavior. It was published in 2009, so not quite today’s environment, but pretty darn close!


      1. I just….I can’t imagine harassing anyone. It’s so hard to me to put that idea in my head and go with it. I’m huge on apologies. I will forgive damn near anything with a genuine apology because I think people should be able to make mistakes, learn, and move on. But this whole harassment = love thing is strange.

        Liked by 1 person

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