Stock Image

A Very Long Engagement

Sebastien Japriscot

4,916 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0002713152 / ISBN 13: 9780002713153
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux
Condition: VERY GOOD Hardcover
From OwlsBooks (Toledo, MD, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since June 26, 2006

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2624439475

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: A Very Long Engagement

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:VERY GOOD

About this title

Synopsis:

During the First World War five French soldiers, accused of a cowardly attempt to evade duty, are bundled into no-man's land and certain death. Five bodies are later recovered, the families are notified that the men died in the line of duty and the whole, distasteful incident appears closed. After the war the fiance of one of the men receives a letter which hints at what might have happened. Mathilde Donnay determines to discover the fate of her beloved amid the carnage of battle. "A Very Long Engagement" turns into an unusual and engrossing thriller as she discovers an increasing number of people trying to put her off the scent. Japrisot's achievement is to have written a novel that is both a suspenseful thriller and one which transforms a single small incident into the epitome of all wartime atrocities. The denouement, when it finally happens, is moving and horribly convincing.

Review:

January 1917: five French soldiers are marched to their own front lines where they will be tossed out into no man's land with their hands tied behind their backs and left for the Germans to shoot. They were, in civilian life, variously a pimp, a mechanic, a farmer, a carpenter, and a fisherman; now they are condemned because each had sought to leave the war by shooting himself in the hand. Taken to a godforsaken trench nicknamed Bingo Crépuscule, the five are reluctantly sent out into the darkness; days later, five bodies are recovered and the families are notified, merely, that the men died in the line of duty.

August 1919: Mathilde Donnay receives a letter from a dying man. In it, the former soldier tells her that he met her beloved fiancé, the fisherman Manech, shortly before he died. Mathilde goes to meet Sergeant Daniel Esperanza at his hospital and there hears the story of the execution. She also receives a package with a photograph of the men and copies of their last letters. As Mathilde reads and rereads the letters and goes over Esperanza's tale, she begins to suspect that perhaps the story didn't end quite so neatly. And so begins her very long investigation into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the deaths of five condemned prisoners--one of whom, at least, might not really be dead.

In Mathilde Donnay, Sebastien Japrisot has created one of the most compelling and delightful heroines in modern fiction. Though confined to a wheelchair since childhood, "Mathilde has other lives, varied and quite beautiful ones." She paints, cares for her pets, enjoys a rich fantasy life, and is relentless in her search for the truth about Manech's death. But she is by no means the only vibrant personality leaping off Japrisot's pages. This author has a remarkable ability to draw even minor characters in three dimensions with economy and wit. Take Mathilde's mother, for instance, caught in mid-card game: "At bridge, manille, bezique, Mama is a dirty rotten swine. Not only is she an ace with the pasteboards, but she throws her opponents off their mettle by insulting or making fun of them." And even the characters we meet only through other people's memories--the condemned men--are so fully realized that you find yourself torn over which one you hope may have survived. As Mathilde comes ever closer to solving the mystery of what happened at Bingo Crépuscule that January morning in 1917, Sebastien Japrisot proves himself a master storyteller and A Very Long Engagement a near perfect novel. --Alix Wilber

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Return/Refund Policy: Items are eligible for refund for 30 days after the order’s estimated delivery date. If you are dissatisfied with your purchase due to error on our part or if an item does not arrive within the estimated delivery time frame provided at the time an order is place, please contact our customer service team for immediate resolution. We will accept items for return if the item is no longer needed for 15 days of the items arrival date.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Items can be returned within 30 days of the estimated delivery date. All returns must be approved before an item is shipped back. Domestic returns generally take two weeks and International returns can take up to six weeks to be received and processed by our return center. In the event that an item is being returned due to an error on our part, a prepaid return label will be supplied via email upon request. If a return is not approved, there may be a delay with processing a refund. Tax ID: 87-07...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days [M-F]. Unfortunately, as a bulk order shipper, we do not provide tracking for individual orders included in our bulk shipments. Items shipped via USPS Standard Mail should arrive within 4-14 business days [M-F]. Please note, as per USPS, depending on service location and/or high peak periods within the post office, deliveries can take up to 21 business days [M-F] to arrive. Should your order not arrive within 21 business days [M-F], please contact us promptly for resolution.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express