“When it happens you don’t expect it. You don’t expect anything anymore. You lose your head for just a second and someone walks into your life, turns it upside down, tenderly, brutally, making a place for himself. Even before anything has happened it’s already too late. You can’t tell who is choosing whom, when, how, why. You only know these things later when everything is over and each person holds the other accountable for what has gone on.”
These opening lines from Our Share of Time begin a story concerned with the impossibility of sustaining love, or even understanding how and why it started.
In this diarylike reminiscence, Pierre Forgue, a Parisian school teacher, offers us an apologia for his past and present life as well as a bleak picture of his future. Moving between his Paris apartment and his summer cottage in Peyroc, he vacillates between love and indifference, between Duck (the young man who casually enters his life and who callously departs) and the rest of the world, between lost youth and approaching middle age.
His is the universal midlife crisis accentuated by the presence of Duck, the now-you-see-him-now-you-don’t young and handsome intruder who brings both happiness and misery. This novel, about the difficulty of maintaining lasting relationships, succeeds by the painstaking honesty with which Yves Navarre records events whose “ending is happy, painful, and sweet.”