I want to share my The Reunion book review with you. The Reunion is actually by Guillaume Musso and fortunately translated from the original French by Frank Wynne. I have a history of avoiding all school and college reunions and I know I am not alone in that. There are fears about the fact that you look so much older or perhaps have not fulfilled all your early promise. You can be haunted by thoughts of how everyone at the reunion will be doing so much better than you are. It is nonsense of course.
Once I did go to a college reunion, I realised I had riches others did not and vice versa. Our lives are all individual and of worth in their own right. In this novel, some of the people have far more to worry about when they come back for their reunion than most of us ever do.
The Reunion book review
The novel takes place on a prestigious campus. For some returning to the reunion, their minds are on a freezing night in 1992. Vinca Rockwell, aged 19, has plans to run away with Alexis, her philosophy teacher. Nobody will see them again. What happens on that night with a snowstorm raging? Why have former close friends Thomas, Maxime and Fanny not communicated with each other for 25 years? What are they scared of when they make the trip back to their campus so many years later? With building works going on, the gymnasium is to be knocked down to allow for a new wing. What lies beneath? What secrets will be revealed?
What I liked about The Reunion
I love a murder mystery of course whether in a book, a play or on the television. Murders always reveal complex and heartfelt emotions that all of us feel from time to time.
I enjoyed the way we met the main characters one by one. I found the characterisation good. Vinca is presented as a real enigma so I was intrigued by her and who she really was inside. She clearly had a big impact on those who knew her perhaps surprising for one so young.
Although the subject matter is extreme, many factors reminded me of any reunion. We become aware of how important our formative years were and what a huge impact they had on how we moved on in our lives. We all sink or swim to varying degrees. Just as with a murder mystery, secrets can be revealed so in life as we peel back the layers we can be surprised by sudden discoveries about people we thought we knew quite well. Just like the characters in this book we can get things so right but also so very wrong.
The Reunion moves cleverly between the present day and the past. There are secrets to be revealed and surprises along the way. It is one of those rare books that I know I will want to read again.
This was a book that made me reflect, that kept me intrigued and also made me sad at time. Well worth a read.
Guillaume Musso is the #1 bestselling author in France, and his novels have been translated in forty languages and have sold over 33 million copies worldwide. He was born in Antibes, South of France, and currently lives in Paris.
Frank Wynne is one of the most acclaimed translators working today. He has translated Pierre Lemaitre’s recent series of crime bestsellers and was shortlisted for the Man Booker International 2018 for his translation of Vernon Subutex.