Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Lovers-Vendela Vida

The Lovers
Vendela Vida
Ecco, Jun 22 2010, $23.99
ISBN: 9780060828394

Well over two decades ago Yvonne and Peter married and honeymooned in Datca, Turkey. They lived in Burlington, Vermont and had twins, Matthew and Aurelia.

With Peter recently buried, Yvonne decides to fly to Turkey to see if she can recapture the happiness she once shared with her late spouse before their alcoholic offspring Aurelia destroyed their relationship. As she returns to the peninsula where East meets West, she finds nothing the same. Even the clothing she wore to not stick out leaves her sticking out as the women wear jeans and t-shorts while she wears a long blouse and skirt. Still as Yvonne begins to enjoy the role of an American widow, some locals including her landlord Mr. Celik wonder why the single female tourist travels by herself. Lonely, she meets and befriends a Turkish boy about ten years old selling seashells. However, the natives do not appreciate an American adult acting friendly to a native child.

Although the emotional poignancy and epitomes overwhelm the story line at times as there is a constant barrage, readers who appreciate a profound look at a person seeking to regain paradise lost by returning to a memory of an Eden will relish Vendela Vida’s deep character study. The story line is purposely slow as the audience gets inside the head of the grieving widow who is filled with remorse, regret and guilt. Turkey serves as a terrific locale for the lead character as like the country is divided between to EU or not to EU; just like Yvonne is split between going home to lonely New England or remain on the peninsular seeking something she lost over the years.

Harriet Klausner

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