Recently translated from French into English and published by Gallic Books, we follow Hector’s Journeys where he travels half way round the world looking for the secrets of love. Written by Francois Lelord, a psychiatrist who has had a successful career in France and USA, this is the second of Hector’s adventures.
Hector is a psychiatrist who gets asked by a huge pharmaceutical company to track down their wayward scientist Professor Cormorant who has been working on a secret love potion. Leaving behind his girlfriend Clara, Hector heads for the Far East, the last place the professor was seen. Once in the Far East Hector is left little clues by the mischievous Professor Cormorant to help Hector track him down. In the meantime Hector wants to know what love means and starts writing notes, or little seedlings as he calls them, as he starts to question his relationship with Clara.
Persuaded by one of Professor Cormorant’s notes Hector agrees to try the Professor’s secret love potion and falls in love with hotel waitress Vayla and they become inseparable. Throughout the story Hector aware that his love for Vayla is down to chemicals analyzes their unusual bonding.
The book takes us from France, to a faraway island, to Cambodia, then to Shanghai before heading back to Cambodia again. We are treated to insights into the love and sex lives of panda bears and orangutans and there are some deep, quite thought provoking statements about love and the way men and women perceive it.
The cover of the book got my attention straight away, bright and fun which is what it was. At just under 300 pages the book is short enough to enjoy over a weekend and the brief chapters were ideal for me to pop in and out of whenever I had a spare five minutes to read. The book is humorous but thought provoking and sometimes sad when faced with the harsh reality of how painful love can be. I think it is a lovely little book and particularly enjoyed the locations it was set in.
There is a very interesting interview with Francis Lelord in The Telegraph .
I was sent the book to review.
I award Hector and the Secrets of Love three out of five cupcakes