Amélie Nothomb brings humor, intelligence, and a refreshing honesty to this highly autobiographical work. Her storytelling appeals to those who feel that their own immediate and personal sense of love is seldom adequately represented in popular fiction.
Amélie is a young language teacher living in Tokyo. When she succumbs to the attentions of her one and only student–the shy, wealthy, and sincere Rinri–the two find themselves in an vibrant affair that is as unusual as it is tender. As their relationship unfolds revelations on foreigness, communication, age and fluctuating nature of love.
Tokyo Fiancée foregoes conventions to create a compelling image of love for the contemporary woman, an anti-Prince-Charming story that is an antidote to traditional romantic fables.
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A darling of the French literary scene, Nothomb delivers a complex story of first love set in late 1980s and early 90s Tokyo. Amélie is a 21-year-old Belgian student studying Japanese in Tokyo when she begins tutoring Rinri, a sweet, shy and wealthy 20-year-old, in French. The relationship quickly evolves into a friendship and, soon after that, into romance. Rinri is a young soul who is easily swept up in his love for Amélie, and his charm is undeniable as he courts her, but Amélie wrestles with the classic situation: she loves spending time with Rinri, but she doesnt love him, and she cannot deny her need for independence. Nothomb thankfully forgoes the standard approach to passion and unrequited love, leading the reader to hope the adorable couple dont get married and instead find their own separate happiness. Nicely told, intimate and honest, the book depicts perfectly a nontraditional romance. (Jan.)
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