Thursday, 6 August 2009

Olivia (Olivia) VMC 268

I first came across this book when I read about it on Simon's blog (I don't think he's yet read it but he made it sound interesting when he bought it). And subsequently Paperback reader reviewed it also. Simon's blog convinced me to buy it, Claire's to read it sooner rather than later.

Olivia, aged 16, is sent abroad to a French finishing school to complete her education. Very soon she has fallen under the spell of her teacher, Mlle Julie, who accepts her as a teacher's pet, arousing the jealousy of Mlle Clara. Like Claire at Paperback reader, the setting was extremely reminiscent of the Collette books. There is not a good deal of plot, beyond the development of the relationship between Olivia and Mlle Julie and its journey towards its conclusion, but it is another good "coming of age" story, which will enjoyably pass an afternoon or so.

As far as I am aware, Virago have only published this once, with this cover, a beautiful painting by Klimt. And I was lucky enough to get a copy of this in an ebay bundle to replace the Penguin copy I'd bought after reading Simon's review. If anyone would like my Penguin copy, then do let me know - I'd definitely recommend this book.


  1. I am glad that you enjoyed it too! I am still wanting to re-read Colette's Claudine novels (well those I have already read and read the ones I've not).

    The Klimt cover is one of my favourite orginial VMC covers; it's beautiful. Which gives me an idea: perhaps you could address the use of Klimt covers if we could find out how many there are? I have two and know of at least another one.

  2. Verity, are you sure you want to get rid of your Penguin copy? I would be very interested if you are. Or even if I could just borrow it and then post it back to you? I take good care of books, so you'd have it back good as new.

  3. Green Road - if you email me your details to verityDOTormeATgmailDOTcom I would love to send it to you. It's only a tiny book so won't cost much to send. You can keep it - I need the space!