New to me author, Anne Finger, appears on the blog today with her woman’s fiction title, a story set in France and spans the build up to, and through, World War II. Please read on for my review of
A Woman, In Bed
Initially I grabbed at this title for the setting (France) and the prospect of a woman working in the Resistance during World War II, as those stories are endlessly fascinating to me. But what emerged was something far different. A study of a broken and incomplete woman on a search for something to complete her life – and the never-ending challenge of finding more to fill that hole.
The story begins in the time between the wars, Simone lives with her mother and infant son: there is an undercurrent of mistrust and censure from her mother as Simone is obviously struggling with the aftereffects of childbirth and missing her husband, an engineer working for the railway lines now being built in Turkey. Simone is very much a creature of her emotions: she’s uncomfortable with the physical changes from pregnancy, feeling her body has in some ways betrayed her, yet still needing that constant feeding of her esteem that she had grown accustomed to as a beautiful young woman. In fact, most of Simone’s esteem and personality, to me, comes from this attention: attention she isn’t getting from her husband as he’s not there.
When she starts to make moves all in a need to fuel her own sense of being and happiness, and far less intertwined with any sort of nationalist or political sense as one might expect from someone working against Hitler and the Germans, her concerns seemed to be in service of her own satisfaction. Far less a physical one, and more a never-ending struggle to fill in the spots that are empty. I had difficulty trying to find empathy for Simone, as her behavior and treatment of everyone felt as if there was an end game to her actions: momentary desires filled and fed through seemingly random sexual encounters, only to leave a hole bigger and more empty than before.
Finger’s writing is intriguing in style, and the stream of consciousness feel that comes from Simone’s point of view feel plausible, but is bereft of emotional depth: it left me feeling as if Simone didn’t even have a grasp on what she actually wanted, let alone needed to help her feel complete. With moments that never quite meet that emotional peak, or find a balance between growth and emotional need, the correlation between summary and story was nearly non-existent.
Title: A Woman, In Bed
Author: Anne Finger
Genre: Historic Woman's Fiction, Setting: France, World War II
Published by: Cinco Puntos Press
Published on: 6 March, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ IndieBound
Simone sleeps with strangers. The most important stranger? Her husband Jacques. A love story spanning WWI to WWII in Paris.
Simone comes of age during World War I. She comes into her own in World War II as part of the French resistance.
Frequently, she abandons herself to lust―particularly to a man named Jacques. She leaves her first husband for him and spends over a decade as his lover. They eventually marry, yet Simone still sleeps with strangers, her husband the most distant of them all. What is she seeking? Simone isn’t sure. More than sex―a tenderness that lust can never fill. Just when her body feels most fragile, she meets Pierre, a much younger man, a novice at love-making, clumsy and overly emotional, a fool―yet there is something about him.
A lifelong love story not about the relationship between two lovers, but between a woman and her body.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: