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A Partisan's Daughter by Louis de Bernieres
In A Partisan's Daughter, Chris is a middle-aged traveling salesman trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage in the 1970s and feels hopelessly out of touch with the changes in society. In an attempt to pick up a prostitute for the first time, he makes a proposition to a woman from his car. The woman is Roza and she's no longer a prostitute, but Chris gives her a ride home anyway. Roza tells Chris she's from Yugoslavia and is the daughter of one of Tito's partisans. He's intrigued by her adventures and tragedies and they continue to meet and build a platonic friendship. Chris wishes it was more, longing to add the exoticness of her life to his, but as her stories become more outlandish, he wonders whether she's embellishing them to keep his interest. Louis de Bernieres' novel has received mostly positive reviews with the London Times saying, "This is a silk stocking of a novel: fragile, light, of little practical purpose - and yet possessed of surprising tensile strength. De Bernieres' mellifluent, clear prose slips through the reader's mind with efficient ease, and even at its most dramatically jarring, you never need to come up for air."