You know how sometimes you have these books that stay with you? And then suddenly you realize they have a sequel and you just need to read that sequel stat? Yes, well, that was Vous revoir, by Marc Levy, for me. There’s not many French books I find worth reviewing – this one though? Definitely worth it!
Have any of you ever seen the movie Just Like Heaven, featuring Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon? It’s a beautiful story. A man moves into an apartment, only to find out that it’s already occupied – kinda. To be exact, it’s already occupied by a girl who used to live there and should technically be lying in a coma in the hospital where she was, at the time of the car accident which put her in a coma, doing her internship. Well, that movie was actually based on a book – Et si c’était vrai, by Marc Levy.
I first read that book when I was 17, and immediately fell in love with it. To this day, it’s the only French book (apart from The Little Prince, that is) that I’ve read more than once. When I went to Paris this past summer, I ended up buying 6 books by Marc Levy. I really loved his writing in Et si c’était vrai, and because I really wanted to keep reading French books after graduating, I figured I might as well. Anyways, I basically discovered at that point that Et si c’était vrai had a sequel. And what a sequel it was!
It’s been approximately 5 years since the end of Et si c’était vrai, and Arthur and Lauren did not do what I wanted them to do. That is: they are not currently happily together – as a matter of fact, Lauren doesn’t even really know that Arthur exists! She has some vague memories of a man she doesn’t know, sitting at her bedside right as she was recovering from her coma, but that’s about it. Arthur, by this time, has spent quite some time in Paris, trying (and failing) to recover from his love for Lauren. Both her mother and her mentor, doctor Fernstein, requested that Lauren not be told they were going to pull the plug on her, and that has basically resulted in Arthur being effectively removed from her life.
No sooner is Arthur back in San Francisco, when he finds himself requiring Lauren’s help. A car accident has left him with blood in the brain (not a doctor, so sorry if that’s not technically the correct term, but that’s how I understood it). Soon enough, these two find themselves in what turns out to be almost a reversal of their roles in the first book. And this time, it’s not only Arthur’s heart, but also his life that’s on the brink. (imagine some sort of dramatic music here mkay )
As I already mentioned, throughout the book, many of the roles of Et si c’était vrai are reversed. This time, Paul’s the one in a coma, and Lauren’s the one who can’t quite explain what’s going on in her life. One thing that hasn’t changed for either of these two, though? The way in which they seem to perfectly fill in the blanks in each other’s lives. Also not changed: Lauren’s obsession with her job J
Something I was particularly happy about: many characters from the first book– including Paul, Arthur’s best friend – also make an occurrence. Probably my favourite of all those? The police officer who offered Paul and Arthur a helping hand when they were trying to save Lauren. And it turns out he and his life partner are equally awesome. And a fun surprise: Paul is no longer quite the ultimate bachelor he was in the previous book – yay!
As I already mentioned, Marc Levy is actually one of the few authors writing in French, whose work I‘ve felt compelled to keep on reading. He doesn’t only use the beautiful French language to pretty much its full potential. He actually manages to do so in a way that doesn’t seem too high up. If you hear “French literature” and your mind immediately goes to Molière and Racine? This might actually be the book to convince you that French writing can actually be quite pleasant to read.
If you want to read it in English, I have to be honest and tell you I’ve only read the first chapter in its English version. The translator seemed to have done an excellent job, though. Not only are you getting the amazing story in beautiful narration, many of the typical “Marc Levy”-isms were actually kept intact!
Want to ease your way into literature that wasn’t originally written in English? This might just be the book for you. Whether you read his book in in French or in English, Marc Levy offers an amazing story about love, second chances and honesty that not only touched me, but has me quite eager to continue my journey through his work.
Specifically if you like romantic books that still have quite a bit of (amazing, might I add) story to them, this book might just be the one for you!
Literally the only reason I’m not giving this one 5 out of 5 stars? I’m trying to save that rating for the books that really, truly changed me. And no matter how much I liked this one, it didn’t quite do that 🙂
Want to give this book a try now? You can find it on The Book Depository – and if you buy it through this affiliate link, that’d be doing me a favour too!
Do you have any other books you would like to try? Be sure to let me know below, as well as whether or not you’ve already read this one. And if so, what you thought of Vous Revoir!