Review: French Exit by Patrick deWitt

french exitI was super pumped to get approved to review this book. First, he is Canadian! Second, I read, and loved his novel The Sisters Brothers.

I will say that his style, for me, is reminiscent of Christoper Moore (ish) – kind of dark humour (I mean humor), a little absurd, and a little quirky. I happen to like those things in a novel.

This book is about Frances and her adult son Malcolm. They used to be part of the upper crust of the Upper East Side, but through scandal and bankruptcy they have fallen from grace. They make a hasty exit to Paris to live in a friends’ apartment there.

I don’t like to give too much of the plot away, so I won’t. (You are capable of reading the synopsis of the book on Goodreads.)

I like that this is different. It’s not the same old cookie cutter narrative. It’s funny (I was laughing out loud at many parts), and it’s also poignant and sad. I think that is a tribute to the author’s skill to be able to paint those emotions so well – and not have it be sappy or morose.

This book is about families – the ones you are born into and the ones you choose. And finding your tribe. Not to give too much away, but at a late point in the book a bunch of misfits are basically living in the French apartment – collected like stray cats. And they all seem to need something from each other. Not in the material sense, but companionship.

I really enjoyed this book. If you like your books a bit off the wall then this is a great read for you. And, if you like his other novels, you will for sure like this one.

I gave it a 4/5 star rating on Goodreads.

Full disclosure: I received this eARC from Edelweiss for a fair and honest review. (Thanks Edelweiss!)

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