Dolce Vita by Iseult Teran 4/5
The extraordinary and unconventional life of a modern teenage bohemian. ‘I am Cat Balou, I am Jeanne Moreau, I am Modigliani’s lover, but not the one who threw herself out of the window…’ Una is a sixteen year old sexual fantasist. In 1989 she is a kept woman in Paris, whose romantic ideas about the lifestyle of a mistress to an aging record producer don’t quite live up to the reality. She searches for an affair that corresponds to her dreams, but finds herself flitting from one romantic infatuation to another, obsessed by the idea of sex but careful of her virginity.
Una is an extremely lost sixteen year old who has had to grow up much faster than many her age, and has suffered some cruel blows growing up. Although, coming from a family of wealth, and having friends, she is very lonely and also very self-absorbed. Teran has captured the mindset of a sixteen year old desperately trying to discover who she is and where she fits in 1989.
The lists and crazy dream recounts added to the reading experience, and helps the reader delve deeper into Una’s mindset. Her naïve view of how the world actually works and how she wants it to work for her, can be frustrating at times, but that’s just Una. Ladders made me incredibly uncomfortable, and Una’s almost childlike perspective of their relationship/ not relationship made it that little worse.
Her auntie was a grounding force to stop Una spiralling totally out of control. The chapters where she was with her auntie were the ones where you could catch your breath and hope that she’d rein Una in, help her.
Thought I’d share a quote:
I smoked a black Sobranie with some American kids. I went back to our compartment dizzy and ready for anything. I stripped to the waist and woke ladders up, thinking this would be the perfect time to lose my virginity. It felt too in the open. The fat inspector caught me with my shirt off. They have their own keys, I wasn’t ready anyway, just bored.
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All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman
K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review