Delicacy by David Foenkinos: a lesson in perfect first date drinks

Natalie and Francois fall deeply in love over a quick drink of apricot juice (the perfect first lunch date drink) following a chance sidewalk encounter. Their love for each other is profound, the kind that transcends time and makes marriage look simple and blissful. Abruptly, their love ends just as suddenly when Francois dies after an unfortunate chance encounter on the sidewalk…with a car. Natalie is devastated and for years is unable to move on. She throws herself into her work and becomes even more successful. The head of the company has an unrequited (also known as never-to-be-requited) crush on her that borders on obsession. Still sure she can’t move on, one day her slightly geeky Swedish co-worker Markus walks into her office and she kisses him – sending his life into a tailspin and her back into the dating pool. Awkwardly, they get to know each other and begin to fall in love under the microscope that is interoffice gossip. However, her boss intervenes in an unprecedented way, threatening to change the course of Natalie and Markus’s careers and connection.

“Delicacy” is a quirky, quick read with sweet side notes and adorable details. Overall, this novel is a delicate and sweet story about life after losing love – and finding it again (and really, who doesn’t love a romantic Swede?). It is rightly compared to Nick Hornsby in regard to the offbeat and playful styling of the novel, but that is essentially where the comparisons end. Originally written by French writer David Foenkinos, it has since be translated to the english “Delicacy”. The novel “La Délicatesse” has made into a movie where the gorgeous Natalie will be played by the ever gorgeous Audrey Tautou (an absolutely perfect choice, see trailer here). Look for it to be released this year. Rating: 3/5.

To accompany this novel, I’d recommend peach, apple, apricot juice. It is not quite the same as Francois’s perfect date drink, but it looks just as sweet and satisfying.

Recipe: 2 peaches, 2 apricots, 2 apples. Wash, core, cut into chunks (leaving skin on) and pass through juicer. Recipe found at

Photos: HarperCollins via Washington Post, Bhujmandir

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