Adele (Slimani) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Although the misery is universal, this story is uniquely, and often amusingly, French.… Possibly because of the book's Frenchness, nothing about Adele's behavior is pathologized until the very last pages. She submits only belatedly to therapy. Nobody tells her that she has a disease or ought to spend some time leafing through the D.S.M. Instead, Slimani approaches Adele's habits as a study in the art of tending a secret.… Adele has glanced at the covenant of modern womanhood—the idea that you can have it all or should at least die trying—and detonated it.
Molly Young - New York Times Book Review


Bold, stylish and deeply felt.
Wall Street Journal


Written in prose of elegant but never bloodless neutrality.… [Adele] leads readers through the labyrinth of desire into an understanding of solitude, isolation and the search for authenticity as our common fate.
Independent (UK)


Displays an undeniable literary power.
L’Express (France)


A slim, compelling read, Adele examines topics ranging from marriage and motherhood to adultery, but the overarching theme is the notion of freedom.… The plot of Adele recalls Kundera’s masterwork [The Unbearable Lightness of Being].
Vanity Fair


The feverish spark of obsession licks at the corner of nearly every page.
Entertainment Weekly


Sensational.… In her novels, home and hearth are a furnace, not a haven. Families are groups in which power struggles are conducted in close quarters, and with gloves off.
Time


Exposes the dark desires of a seemingly normal woman.… Adele—and the reader—must come to terms with what it is we demand of women in modern times, and how those punishing requirements lead so many of us to crack and try and get autonomy through unorthodox means.
Nylon


[F]ascinating…. Though some readers might feel the novel waits too long to explore why its protagonist feels compelled to behave the way she does, this is nevertheless a skillful character study. Slimani’s ending is the perfect conclusion to this memorable snapshot of sex addiction.
Publishers Weekly


[A]rtful, edgy…Although some of the secondary characters lack depth, Adele has it in spades…. The book's denouement may frustrate readers—but then, that rather seems the point.… [A]n unflinching exploration of female self-sacrifice and the elusive nature of satisfaction.
Kirkus Reviews

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