Title: Soft in the Head
Author: Marie-Sabine Roger
Genre: Literary Fiction
Number of Pages: 226
I bought this book because I really liked the movie adaptation, My Afternoons with Marguerite. Back when I watched the movie years ago I didn’t know it was adapted from a novel, so when I found out about this book I was pretty excited. Personally I liked the title My Afternoons with Marguerite better than Soft in the Head, but both the book and the movie were outstanding.
The novel is about a middle-aged man named Germain, who has some kind of undiagnosed learning disability. Germain is an odd bird and his narrative voice is offbeat and funny at times. He’s a little bit childlike and sometimes uses malapropisms, signifying his lack of understanding of language. Germain’s so-called friends are grade-A douchebags and he finds his first true friend in Marguerite, an elderly woman he meets in the park.
Trying to read had always been agonizing for Germain, but Marguerite opens his mind to the possibility of reading for pleasure for the first time. This book is a very easy read and even though it isn’t action-packed, the character’s voice makes you want to keep turning pages.
Germain is a very flawed character but I couldn’t help but like him and I wish more people had a Marguerite in their lives. As soon as I finished this novel I downloaded Marie-Sabine Roger’s other English-translated book (Get Well Soon) onto my Kindle. I hope it’s as entertaining and heartfelt as this books was.
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