Translated Fiction Review: The Slow Waltz of Turtles

January 5, 2017 Uncategorized 3

Translated Fiction Review: The Slow Waltz of TurtlesTitle: The Slow Waltz of Turtles
Author: Katherine Pancol
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: three-stars

Summary: I enjoyed the writing style and many perspectives, but this was darker than the first book and the character development felt like a repeat.

“Forty-something mother of two Josephine Cortes is at a crossroads. She has just moved to a posh new apartment in Paris after the success of the historical novel she ghostwrote for her sister, Iris. Still struggling with her divorce – the result of her husband running off to Kenya to start a crocodile farm with his mistress – she is now entangled in a lie orchestrated by her sister. And just when things seem as though they can’t get any more complicated, people start turning up dead in her neighbourhood.” (Source)

Katherine Pancol and her awesome translator, William Rodarmor, achieved a writing style that felt similar to many authors I love. There was something comfortable about reading it. I can’t put my finger on what it includes that makes it so good, but what it’s missing is any quirks, flaws, or floweriness. Each word felt carefully chosen and perfectly brought the story to life without stealing the spotlight from the plot. I also appreciated that the author gave us a recap of the events of the previous book in a way that felt natural. This recap was mostly in the form of internal monologues, which many of the characters had throughout. Personally, I liked getting to know the characters this way, but I could see these sections bothering other people as telling instead of showing. I also enjoyed getting the perspectives of both the characters I was rooting for and the characters I despised.

On to the not so good… In the first book, I particularly enjoyed Josephine’s character growth, but in this book, it was like she was back at square one. Character growth is no longer exciting to me if it happens exactly the same way for the same character two books in a row! I also didn’t think the plot flowed as naturally from the characters’ personalities, compared to the first book. The plot was just too extreme, approaching unbelievable. The book was also darker than I expected. It still felt like a fluffy, easy read, but the content was much more violent than I remember in the first book. There was also some strange magic in one of the subplots which I don’t remember being a thing in the first book and which felt out of place here. As you can tell from my first paragraph, there were things I liked about this book and I enjoyed reading it. It just didn’t live up to the author’s first book and the expectations it left me with.


3 Responses to “Translated Fiction Review: The Slow Waltz of Turtles”

  1. Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf

    Awww, it’s always a bummer when the author sets up high expectations with a fantastic first book, and the next one doesn’t live up. I haven’t read her at all, so I think if I do, I’ll reach for the first one. And a fluffy, easy read sounds good lately. 🙂
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    • DoingDewey

      It’s true! I think a big part of why I liked this less was simply because the main character’s journey was so much the same as in the first book. If I’d not read the first, I might have liked this better.