Leon and Louise by Alex Capus translated by John Brownjohn

Leon and Louise is a wartime romance set in 1918. Leon Le Gall was 17  in 1918. A strong-willed but honorable young man, he has taught himself Morse code and manages to find a job using his somewhat patchy skills.

His job brings him into contact with Louise Janvier, whom he first encounters when she rides past him on a bicycle with a squeaky pedal. Over the following weeks begins a gentle romance that would endure almost 70 years despite two world wars and Leon’s marriage and Louise’s career taking her for a time to Africa.


Leon and Louise is a whimsical novel recounting a sweet love story with playful humor. It opens well and tells an interesting tale. While not every thread is followed, and the reader is left to ponder unanswered questions such as why Leon called his family together in Notre Dame cathedral where we find them as the novel opens, Leon and Louise is an evocative and visual piece of writing that conjures up a time and place and lingers awhile in the memory.

Leon and Louise by Alex Capus translated by John Brownjohn is published by Haus Publishing. ISBN-10: 1908323132; ISBN-13: 978-1908323132.

[Disclosure: I received a free review copy of the Kindle edition of Leon and Louise.]