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The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles 1

by Katherine Pancol
Paperback
Age range: + years old Publication Date: 25/02/2015
5/5 Rating 1 Review

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A warmly funny story about love, friendship, betrayal, money, dreams and a little white lie and its hilarious, life-changing consequences.

This novel is the story of a lie. But it is also a story of laughter and tears, of life itself.

When her chronically unemployed husband runs off to start a crocodile farm in Kenya with his mistress, Josephine Cortes is left in an unhappy state of affairs. The mother of two is forced to make ends meet on her meagre salary as a medieval history scholar.

Meanwhile, Josephine's charismatic sister Iris seems to have it all - a wealthy husband, gorgeous looks, and a tres chic Paris address-but secretly she dreams of bringing meaning back into her life.

And then a dinner party changes the sisters' destinies.

Iris is seated next to a famous book publisher to whom she spins a tale of the 12th century romance she's writing. When Iris charms him into offering her a lucrative deal for her book, she offers her sister a deal of her own: Josephine will write the novel and pocket all the proceeds, but the book will be published under Iris's name.

All is well until the book becomes the literary sensation of the season.

'A clear-eyed, warmly funny tale.' - Kirkus Reviews

ISBN:
9781760112202
9781760112202
Category:
Fiction
Age range:
+ years old
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
25-02-2015
Publisher:
ALLEN & UNWIN
Country of origin:
Australia
Edition:
1st Edition
Pages:
464
Dimensions (mm):
198x128x34mm
Weight:
0.43kg
Katherine Pancol

Katherine Pancol moved from Casablanca to France when she was five. She studied literature and initially became a French and Latin teacher, before turning to journalism.

While working for Paris-Match and Cosmopolitan, she is noticed by an intuitive publisher who encourages her to begin writing.

Her novel The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles has been a huge success in France and the rest of Europe where it has sold over 2.5 million copies.

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles has been translated into thirty-one languages. Katherine Pancol lives in Paris, France

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The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles is the first novel in the Joséphine series by French author, Katherine Pancol. When she discovers her unemployed husband Antoine (call me Tonio) is having an affair with his manicurist, Joséphine Cortès kicks him out of their Paris apartment and resolves to somehow manage, with two daughters, on her own. Her meagre salary at the CNRS as a 12th Century historian will need to be supplemented; luckily, her brother-in-law, Philippe Dupin offers her some translation work.

When Antoine and his mistress, Mylène desert Paris to run a crocodile farm in Kenya, Joséphine knows her daughters’ survival is dependent on her: 10-year-old Zoé can still be reassured, but 14-year-old Hortense is becoming a wilful handful. And the bank manager has a nasty surprise for Joséphine. Desperation and a sense of filial loyalty see her agreeing to a dubious deal with her glamorous (and manipulative) sister, Iris: Jo will write a novel set in 12th Century France; Iris will relish doing the publicity and taking the credit; she’ll funnel the fees to Jo.

Pancol’s plot is wholly credible; it has a few twists and turns to keep things interesting as some two years of Joséphine’s life are detailed against a backdrop of other family and neighbourhood dramas: an eviction, a secret Royal baby, a long-standing unrequited love, a black-sheep twin, repressed memories, internet dating, lovers, plenty of gossip, mistresses, revealing YouTube clips, fake designer bags, hungry crocodiles, failing marriages, and a longed-for heir.

Pancol gives the reader a diverse cast of characters, none perfect, all flawed, all very human, with their strengths and weaknesses, none wholly good or bad: a few are easy to despise; others draw the reader’s sympathy; insecure and reticent, Joséphine will, at first, frustrate, as we wait and hope for her to lose her naiveté and develop some backbone. And everyone has secrets they’re not telling.

This first book (of three so far) is translated from the original French by William Rodarmor and Helen Dickinson. Readers who enjoy this novel will be pleased to know that the second book, The Slow Waltz of Turtles is also available in English. Funny, moving and highly entertaining, this is a very enjoyable read.

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