Review: Underground Time by Delphine de Vigan

Mathilde is unhappy at work. More than just unhappy actually, because after expressing an opinion different to her boss he has frozen her out of the team and bullied her mentally and emotionally for months. Mathilde is a woman on the edge of breaking point, feeling increasingly brow-beaten by both the demands of city life and her awful boss. Meanwhile Thibault is an emergency on-call doctor, racing from one district to another through the nightmares of Parisian traffic, unhappy in his relationship and also struggling, mentally, to survive. Will today be the day that changes everything?

I found this to be a really compelling read. Both Mathilde and Thibault are immediately interesting, sympathetic characters. For Mathilde in particular, De Vigan creates a rising tension, and as the book progressed I felt physically sick on behalf of Mathilde and the unfairness of her situation. You can immediately see how easily such a situation can come about, and although you’re screaming for Mathilde to tell someone, to get some help, at the same time you can see how she has found herself stuck, unable to act and rescue herself. As you watch her boss’ actions you’re on the edge of your seat, hoping against hope that everything will, somehow, be okay.

Read the rest of my review for The Bookbag.


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