Le Grand Mealnes, by Alain Fournier

Lovely. Charming. Touching. Very French. Made me cry. Definitely an influence on Camus. I hesitate to label it with so pedestrian a term as a 'coming of age story'. The story is told from the POV of a teenage boy, and is about his friend, Meaulnes. It's about promises and mysteries and endlessly searching for the lost love. And it contained imagery that made my hair stand on end.

It's lovely to read some good fiction again after so long. I love the characters in this book. The author died at the age of 27 in WWI - I have to wonder whether he was more like the timid narrator, or the daring, 'grand', Meaulnes.

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