July 1, 2010

French Books

One of the very exciting things to do when in France is to browse the "librairies" (bookstores) to find out what has been recently published and what the folks are reading. I was introduced to some new authors I wasn't familiar with.

Anna Gavalda. Finished reading "La Consolante" and loved it so much that I quickly bought "Je l'aimais" and "Je voudrais que quelqu'un m'attende quelque part".

Marc Levy. Read "Le Premier jour" and was disappointed to discover at the end that there would be a sequel, but not available till next year. He writes a lot like Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code), with a lot of action and with a screenplay in mind.

Jean-Louis Fournier. "Où on va, papa?" apparently caused quite a bit of controversy when it came out. It's a father who talks about life with his two handicapped children. Some felt he lacked respect towards the handicapped, but I just felt a lot of love from a father struggling to deal with incredible challenges.

Annie Ernaux. "Les années". I was told that this book is brilliant because the story unfolds against the political backdrop of after-war France while describing the fashions and habits of the day.

I have saved the best till last. While in France, I became acquainted with a cousin from Montreal who wrote informing me that we share the same ancestors, Jean Gobeil and his wife Jeanne Guiet, who left France in 1665. I think we continued having the same family tree till about 5 generations ago, when we branched our separate ways.

Sylvie Gobeil teaches writing in Ottawa and is a published author. She has written a trilogy around the characters of Jean and Jeanne and their children. She had to imagine their characters and the story, but the setting, the dates and everything she could research are true. She was kind enough to have the 3 books waiting for me upon my return, so what a treat for me to read these novels!

Le pays au bout du fleuve (Premier tome de la trilogie)

Les tiroirs secrets de Jeanne (Tome 2 de la trilogie)

Au gré du vent (Tome 3 de la trilogie)

Please ask your library to order these books if you choose not to buy them.

Bonne lecture!

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