I was send this book by Bookhugger, as part of their Real Readers Programme, for the purpose of reading and reviewing this title prior to its release in January 2011.
This is the Second "Hector" title by Francois Lelord, who is a psychiatrist (maybe even the psychiatrist named Francois mentioned in the story?). The first book is "Hector and the Search of Happiness", which I haven't read but hope to get my hands on in the not too distant future.
The story in this book is charmingly simple.
Hector is a psychiatrist who is hired by the pharmaceutical company where his girlfriend works to find Professor Cormorant. The brilliant professor has disappeared together with his research for the company; a modern day love potion.
Leaving behind his troubled relationship with his girlfriend Clara, Hector travels to the far east, where he finds the trail of Cormorant as well as the beautiful Vayla, with whom he falls in love.
Together with Vayla, Hector travels to find and subsequently join the professor, discovering more about the love potion while at the same time trying to make sense of his own feelings as well as love and heartbreak in general.
Supervisually this is a charming and undemanding little fable about love and the emotions that assault us when we fall in and out of love or a relationship. On a deeper level though this is a very insightful work about all the conflicting feelings and emotions we go through, and try to deal with when faced with love in all its aspects. What makes this book so special is that it teaches the reader a lot about emotions (s)he will have been confronted with in the past and will probably face again in the future without ever giving the reader the feeling that (s)he is being lectured to.
In fact, the story is written with what appears to be such a detached attitude that I didn't realize how much I had started to care about the characters and their emotional wellbeing, until I had finished the book.
This is a charming book, filled with wisdom that all of us could do with. Read it to be delighted, or read it to be enlightened. Either way you won't be disappointed.