I’ve given up on The Mahé Circle, by George Simenon. (It’s the novel I borrowed from the office lending library two weeks ago.)
I just couldn’t get into it. It’s taken me two weeks to reach page 70 of this 151-page book. I couldn’t read more than a few pages at a time. Days went by without me picking it up at all.
Maybe it’s a good novel. Maybe it just didn’t click with me.
The story starts off with Doctor François Mahé vacationing on the island of Porquerolles with his wife and children. Dr. Mahé is not having a good time. He feels that the island, which he has never visited before, is hostile. He is having terrible luck at fishing.
The local doctor is away, so Dr. Mahé is asked to visit a sick woman, living in a run-down shack on the island. He gets there too late – the woman has died. In the corner of the shack, Dr. Mahé sees a young girl in a bright red dress.
Dr. Mahé can’t stop thinking about that red dress.
Dr. Mahé and his family return home. He goes about his daily life, but he feels discontented.
And that’s as far as I got. I have a guess where the story was going, but I just couldn’t get there. Every boring detail of Dr. Mahé’s boring life bored me.
It was a good experiment. The book is going back to the office library tomorrow.
Sometimes, it seems, I can’t judge a book by its cover.