Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book review: Premier Jour by Marc Levy

Author: Marc Levy
Original Title: Premier Jour
Country: France
Rating: 5 cups

If you remember, in February I decided to have a little personal reading challenge to help me get out of the "I don't want to read" phase, Book Around the World. The first stop was in Italy, with Federico Moccia's Three meters above the sky.

This week's stop is France, with a very well known French author, Marc Levy. If his name doesn't ring any bell, you might have seen the movie Just like heaven, with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. This movie is based on Levy's first novel, If only it were true (original title Et si c'├ętait vrai...), which I believe it was WAY better than the movie.

The novel Le Premier Jour (The First Day) was published in 2009 and it has a really interesting plot. An astrophysicist and an archaeologist team up and find a strange object inside a volcano, object that might change history as we know it.

Adrian, the astrophysicist, has one big dream: to find out where the dawn begins. He's just returned in England after a 3 year research project in Chile when he reconnects with an ex-girlfriend, Kira.  After they spend the night together, she leaves him, leaving behind a note and a necklace. After searching for her, he finds out she's in Ethiopia, conducting some archaeological research.

As an archaeologist, Kira wants to find out who the first human being was, how many years ago he/she lived and how different was he than what humans are nowadays. Kira is convinced that the answers to these questions can be found in Ethiopia.

When Adrian arrives in Kira's camp, he convinces her that the necklace she left him is very special and that they need to find out where it comes from and if there are other object similar to it. At the same time, a secret international organization that wants to make Adrian and Kira to give up their research and the people in that organization doesn't stop from anything, whether it's murder, bribe, lying or stealing. The people in this organization are convinced that humanity is not ready yet for the secrets that the fragments could uncover if they are brought together.

I think this book is a mystery of sorts, a romantic mystery, a genre that I think fits very well with Levy's writing style. What I love about Levy's novels is the fact that each of them has a lesson. For example, in another of his novels, My friends, my lovers (original title: Mes amis, mes amours), the lesson is that real friends are there for each other always.

The book is light, easy to read. The ending is kind of surprising, but that is because the book has a second part, The First Night (Le Premier Nuit) which I am currently reading.

I just hope someone will make it into a movie.

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