The Breaking of Eggs, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


A panoramic debut about love and loss, THE BREAKING OF EGGS announces a major new talent. Change is in the air in a shabby apartment in the 19th arrondissment in Paris.

One unremarkable day Madame Lefevre invites Feliks to call her Sandrine.

As his indomitable landlady's manners have been as unvarying as her dresses for the last 36 years, this feels significant to Feliks. And it is. As the face of Europe transforms beyond recognition Feliks's own life teeters on the edge of change.

All it takes is one uncharacteristic decision and suddenly an unstoppable chain of life-changing events is set in motion.

Feliks does not embrace change - in fact, it makes him most uncomfortable.

But as he's reunited with a brother that he hasn't seen since his childhood and comes face-to-face with the love he let slip through his fingers, Feliks has to face up to the possibility that the convictions he has based his life upon were nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Soon his carefully constructed world is tumbling round his ears and Feliks wonders: is there such a thing as a second chance for someone like him?




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It is January 1, 1991 and the western world is changing. Feliks Zhukovski is a Polish-born travel writer who has specialised in publishing a set of guides to Cold War Eastern Europe. A leftist and former communist, he has spent years striving to provide a more accurate view for the capitalist West of life behind the Iron Curtain through his Guide Jaune. Whether he feels it or not, Feliks is aloof and adrift - no sense of 'home', almost no close ties or relationships, lost family. His life is centered around certain strident beliefs, truths. It is only after 36 years renting the same apartment in Paris that 61-year old Feliks Zhukovski's landlady says 2 things to him that set in motion a series of events over the year that call into question or give context to so much of his life to that point. Zhukovski's distance from everyone, his firmly held beliefs that everything is politics and that there are absolute truths are tested time and again. He himself is stubborn and awkward in many ways. Eggs must be broken, but to what end? What sacrifices must be made? I have 2 criticisms, or observations: 1) The novel sometimes feels dogmatic. But is this just a portrayal of Feliks's (and others') beliefs, or do the author's own views bleed into certain sections? 2) Feliks's language and behavior are stilted, but sometimes overdone for effect/storyline. Those aside, this is a wonderful novel, one that raises questions about who we are; that challenges what we believe to be true, right in our own lives (and often increasingly so as we get older); and that shows what happens when you start to crack the fragile exterior of those beliefs.