The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles
Book Review - The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol
Flâner Series 3/3
Flâner literally means “to stroll idly,” without any goal or destination in mind. While the word itself is a verb and not so much a feeling, there’s a certain beauty in strolling along the streets leisurely. It is this feeling we feel when we decide one day to just walk around, and look at the people and the buildings and find the beauty in details we so often miss. It is this feeling Francophiles spend their whole lives chasing. - Capsule Books
This is the third and final book from my Autumn Capsule book box. I read each book in chronological order in which they were published, starting with Cheri and The Last of Cheri which were published in the 1920s, followed by A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway which was published in 1964, and ending with The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol which was published in 2006. Did Capsule Books save the best for last?
A Moveable Feast holds a special place in my heart, so it would be quite a feat for The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles to beat it out as my favorite book. But Katherine Pancol gave Ernest Hemingway a run for his money. This book was SO good. I never ever ever would have picked out a book with a title like The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles (I definitely judge books by their cover...and titles.) I'd rather read about paint drying than crocodile eyes. This is one of the things I love most about book subscription boxes, and especially Capsule Books.
I've been trying to think about how to explain the plot of this book - there are SO MANY story lines that it is difficult to summarize them all in a succinct paragraph. But I'll give it a go...Iris and Josephine are sisters: Iris is beautiful, social, and loves to be the center of attention. Josephine is more reserved and scholarly. When Josephine's husband leaves her for another woman and then moves to Africa to manage a crocodile farm, Josephine finds herself barely making ends meet to support their two daughters. But then Iris comes to her and makes a rather unusual proposal: Josephine writes a novel, keeps all of the proceeds, but Iris gets all the credit and will promote the book on television and in the media. At first it seems that both sisters will get what they want: Josephine gets money to support her daughters and Iris gets the attention she's always craving. But then the book becomes a big success...
For most of the book, the crocodile story takes a bit of a back seat to the story of the sisters and the book they're writing. But it does come full circle at the end and I can see why the author (publishers?) titled it the way they did. I do think it is a very French title - in the USA I think they would have gone with something a bit more literal and descriptive of the main story. Regardless, I loved this book, it was such a fun read. I am so grateful to Capsule Books for bringing this book to my attention!
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