Foreign Bodies

Foreign Bodies
Cynthia Ozick
Reviewed by Carol Treasure
Wed, 01/06/2011

A treat for lovers of beautifully-penned literary fiction, Foreign Bodies is a tale of families, love and self-deception. Set in 1950s America and France, Ozick's novel pinpoints the unravelling of the Nachtigalls family. Bea, a middle-aged literature teacher, is coerced by her domineering social-climbing brother into going to Paris to search out and return with his wayward son. 

Reluctant Bea soon finds herself in a situation not unknown to Henry James or Edith Wharton - that of the innocent American abroad, and out of their depth. But innocence, with all its many facets, exists to be explored, exploited and ultimately, lost. This extraordinary novel lingers in the mind long after it ends. Ozick masterfully evokes a post-war Paris that echoes the vivid, compelling lives of her richly drawn characters. It is a delight to read.

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