In the City of Love’s Sleep review – object lessons in midlife romance

This post is by Kate Kellaway from Books | The Guardian

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Lavinia Greenlaw’s novel about a museum curator who falls in love after a chance encounter is a treat

The title reads like a bad translation – it has too many nouns – and what does it actually mean? But once past this obstacle, one is in the clear. This is a beautiful, unforced novel about an old subject made new. Lavinia Greenlaw does not spell out what she is writing about until we are at the point where we could say it for her: love at first sight. She writes about the recognition, the second it takes to “know” someone unknown, the stirring of what one might not register as memory. She shows how we respond to the tiniest signals – a syllable, a gesture, a glance. It is love in middle age she describes. The writing is present-tense choreography, as easy to read as gliding across parquet.

Iris is ...