Synopsis from Little, Brown and Company:
Adults are as lost as the children they should be protecting, as the lives of four people trapped in a conspiracy of silence hurtle toward a desperate and devastating act.
Twelve-year-old Théo and his friend Mathis have a secret. Their teacher, Hélène, suspects something is not right with Théo and becomes obsessed with rescuing him, casting aside her professionalism to the point of no return.
Cécile, mother of Mathis, discovers something horrifying on her husband’s computer that makes her question whether she has ever truly known him.
Respectable facades are peeled away as the lives of these four characters collide, moving rapidly toward a shocking conclusion. Delphine de Vigan has crafted a lean, darkly gripping, and compulsively readable novel about lies, loneliness, and loyalties.
About: The Loyalties is a 21st Century French literature written by Delphine de Vigan and translated by George Miller. It was published on 7/21/2020 by Little, Brown and Company, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, 192 pages. The genres are French literature, contemporary, and drama. According to the publisher’s website, “Our Vision: To be the #1 destination for authors, agents, customers, client publishers, and employees. To be a respected publisher that values diversity, nurtures talent, rewards success, and honors its responsibilities. To be market focused in all we do, and to lead change in popular culture. To anticipate change, foster creativity, and encourage risk-taking and innovation.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Loyalties on 10/29/2020 and finished it on 10/30/2020. This book was a fantastic read! I liked following Theo’s view, how heartbreaking it was to be in the middle when his parents are divorced. He had to endure his mother’s moods regarding his father and to then pretended that his week at his father’s house didn’t exist because his mom didn’t want any mention of his father. Helene’s view was great. I liked that she didn’t give up on her student when she honestly believed he needed help. Cecile’s view was good too. She talked to herself and stood up for herself when time called for it.
This book started with the definition of Loyalties. Then the story began with Helene, a teacher, told in the first person point of view. She worried about Theo Lubin, 12 years old student, how he looked as if he needed help, as if he has problems at home. She has a secret of her own growing up so she can tell when someone else needed help. She took it upon herself to concern for Theo. The second view was Theo, told in the third person point of view. He and his friend Mathis both shared a secret. Theo learned to speak less to avoid troubles. The third view was Cecile, told in the first person point of view. One day she found out her husband’s secret and she wondered if she knew him at all. She was Mathis’ mom. The fourth view was Mathis. He felt glad to have Theo as his friend. He didn’t like how things are changing but he didn’t know how to fix it.
The Loyalties was well written and a fast paced read! Such a moving story. Each character pulled me in and made me ache for them. Theo’s view of his father was equally heartbreaking as his mother. A broken family is definitely something to stay away from. I heard of divorces so often that I don’t think anything like this happened but it makes sense that it could happen. I felt sad thinking about kids living in situations where their caretakers are depressed enough that they are unable to care for them. Sometimes I felt angry that parents were selfish because they live their life carelessly to make the kids around them suffer especially when the kids depend on adults for guidance. Adults if depressed should have been proactive to seek help. Even though it was a heartbreaking read, I couldn’t put it down. The ending was up to reader’s interpretation and it’s one I was not expecting. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, children with secrets, family drama
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Delphine de Vigan is the author of several novels, four of them available in English: No and Me, awarded the 2008 Prix des Libraires (Bookseller’s Prize); Underground Time, shortlisted for the 2009 Prix Goncourt; Nothing Holds Back the Night, awarded the Prix du roman Fnac, the Prix Roman France Télévisions, and the Prix Renaudot des Lycéens; and Based on a True Story, awarded the 2015 Prix Renaudot and the 2015 Prix Goncourt des Lycéens. She lives in Paris. (Photo and info obtained from Little, Brown’s website).