Category: French Novel Translated into English

Book Review | “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George #BloggingForBooks

Posted Friday, 20 May, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I decided to join the “Blogging for Books” programme (on 9th July, 2014) which is a book for review programme created by the Crown Publishing Group. As a book blogger you are offered books in exchange for an honest review on your book blog as well as the ability to reach new readers when you cross-post your review to the Blogging for Books website. The benefit for the blogger is exposure as a reviewer as they put direct links back to your blog post on the book you select to review as well as your homepage.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Little Paris Bookshop” direct from the publisher Crown Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

Although I have taken a bit of a reprieve from seeking out French Literature from writers who are French bourne or simply stories that arise out of being set in France – I must confess, I still have a healthy interest in reading any story that would warm a Francophile’s heart. I simply think I overdid it initially – you can overtake your sensibility at times, wherein you devour such a large portion of something you love that a short hiatus away from it is better than becoming burnt out completely. In regards to the topic at hand, I believe I kept picking such hard hitting stories of the French, my mind and heart could not re-sync to yearn for more at that particular point in time.

When I first learnt of the story inside The Little Paris Bookshop my heart swelled with interest, as any booklover would whose also a bonefide postal correspondent – such as I. The mere idea of how letters are intersecting with personal lives and how stories are capturing the hearts of unexpected readers through circumstances that are quite kismet as they are karmic and serendipitously lovely. What is not to love at the onset of digging inside a novel like this one? I felt for the first time in a long while, I might have stumbled across a novel that would be enchanting rather than mind numbing and uplifting rather than angst ridden to the extreme. Personally I think I should limit how many war dramas I consume per annum. It has a way of getting to a girl! And, why pray tell I have the tendency to read such emotionally draining works of French Lit is beyond me – I need to sprinkle in some contemporaries and some light-hearted historicals; or simply expire my ticket for war dramas for a fraction of time before resuming where I left off.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: Do you see that little postal stamp in the upper right corner of the postcard? Notice how half cover is overtaken by said postcard? Do you have know wicked happy it is to receive a letter by postal mail? There is such a ferret of joy erupting out of seeing a postmark, a stamp and an envelope addressed to you arriving by Post. A well of happiness about to enter your life via the written or typed conversation eagerly greeting your fingers as you slice open the envelope to reveal it’s contents. So too, is the same thirst for excitement I found in spying this book cover as a precursor to what I might find inside it’s novel’s heart. The backdrop of Paris was quite a smashing find as well.

Book Review | “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George #BloggingForBooksThe Little Paris Bookshop
by Nina George
Translator: Simon Pare
Source: Publisher via Blogging for Books

Monsieur Perdu can prescribe the perfect book for a broken heart. But can he fix his own?

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780553418774

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), French Literature, Literary Fiction, Men's Fiction


Published by Crown Publishers

on 23rd June, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 400

 Published By: Crown Publishers (@crownpublishing)

(an imprint of Crown Publishing Group)

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #TheLittleParisBookshop + #BloggingForBooks

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

About Nina George

NINA GEORGE works as a journalist, writer, and storytelling teacher. She is the award winning author of 26 books, and also writes feature articles, short stories, and columns.

The Little Paris Bookshop spent over a year on bestseller lists in Germany, and was a bestseller in Italy, Poland, and the Netherlands. George is married to the writer Jens J. Kramer and lives in Hamburg and in Brittany, France.

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Posted Friday, 20 May, 2016 by jorielov in Adulterous Affair, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Apothecary, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogging for Books, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Cats and Kittens, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, France, French Literature, French Novel Translated into English, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Literary Fiction, Men's Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Publishing Industry & Trade, Vulgarity in Literature, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

+Blog Book Tour+ “I Looked for the One My Heart Loves” by Dominique Marny, a French literary novel in translation!

Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 5 Comments

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I Looked For the One My Heart Loves by Dominique Marny

I Looked for the One my Heart Loves Blog Tour via France Book Tours

Published By: Publishers Square , 12 August, 2014

a publishing partner of Open Road Integrated Media, Inc 

Twitter: (@OpenRoadMedia)Facebook

Originally Published as:

J’ai cherché celui que mon coeur aime  (I Sought Him Whom my Soul Loves)

{ IF I may add a small note on the titles: the original title in direct English translation suits this novel! }

(by Presses de la Cite), 2011

Available Formats:  Paperback, Ebook

Translated by:  Jean Charbonneau

Author Connections: Site | Facebook

Converse on Twitter: #ILookedForTheOneMyHeartLoves & #FranceBT

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “I Looked for the One My Heart Loves” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher Open Road Media, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

+Blog Book Tour+ “I Looked for the One My Heart Loves” by Dominique Marny, a French literary novel in translation!I Looked For the One My Heart Loves
by (Translator) Jean Charbonneau, Dominique Marny
Source: Publisher via France Book Tours

Anne and Alexis are separated by war as children and reunited later by destiny. A powerful and dramatic love story that spans decades in spite of its seeming impossibility.

Anne, 9, and Alexis, 11, grow up together in the Montmartre area of Paris. While she has a major crush on him, he merely sees her as his friend’s little sister. After WWII begins, the two are separated as their families flee Paris to avoid the German occupation. When they say goodbye, Alexis promises to always protect Anne.

Anne holds on to this promise for years as she constantly thinks of Alexis, wondering where he may be. Anne grows up, finds works in an art gallery, and marries a kind, devoted man with whom she has two children. But her heart still belongs to Alexis and she never stops looking for him. Their paths cross fatefully one day in Brussels many years after they were separated.

Alexis, living in Canada and soon to be moving to San Francisco, has a family of his own; a wife in constant depression and a son. Despite their responsibilities to family and the geographical distance that keeps them apart, Anne and Alexis find a way to love one another, secretly yet passionately.

But after all this time, will they ever manage to be truly together, completely?

Places to find the book:

Genres: Contemporary Romance


Published by Open Road Integrated Media Inc, Publishers Square

on 12th August, 2014

Pages: 384

Author Biography: Dominique Marny 

Dominique Marny was raised in a family that loves art, literature, adventure and travels. In addition to being a novelist, she is a playwright, screenwriter, and writes for various magazines.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A shortened & condensed reading of a World War:

One of the gifts Marny gives her readers is a shortened and condensed reading of a World War, by attaching a full historical enriched scope of the French side of World War II. Knitted into the arc of the chapter which begins in 1939 is an intact re-creation of all the pertinent moments which had the most impact on French families and citizens. She approached this section of her novel with an intensity yet intermixed a warmth of hope and love of family, as she focuses on Anne as a central figure to highlight the discrepancies as you would observe them. By focusing on Anne during this time, we see the war through the eyes of an innocent child whose wishful thinking and dreams are nearly curtailed by the haunting realities of what war can bring into your world view.

Marny does a considerable job at bringing us right into the heat of the bombings flying over Paris to the lesser known anguished moments of separation from school friends and the family members who live too far away to commute to see when living under German occupation. I appreciated seeing everything Anne saw and breathing in a side of the war I had not yet felt touched in other stories.

My Review of I Looked for the One My Heart Loves:

As the story opens centered on a family living in France on the fringes of World War II developing into their lives, we peer into the young life of Anne, of whom we greeted at a cemetery decades later before warming into her years of childhood. The transitional shift left me curious to know not only of whom the grave marker belonged too, but who the curious stranger was in front of her visiting the same grave! As a young child, Anne felt the full measure of anguished sorrow for how a new Great War would impact her life and the ones she cared about the most. She was at the impressionable age where knowing about what feared adults was enough to fear a child. Her brother Bernard was like a typical brother, bent on teasing his sister and tormenting her with either embarrassment in front of their peers or telling her things she would rather not know at all. The two were caught up in the tides of a changing world – where freedom and the sanctity of family would be tested.

The mass exodus out of Paris into safer areas of France is depicted with equal measures of heightened alarm for safety and the arduous tension in walking or biking hours at at time reach a destination. Although I had known Paris and London were left behind for only those who could brave the war which arrived on their doorsteps, I had not yet read of what Parisians had gone through during the developing days leading into World War II. I have oft read war dramas from the perspective of the British during this war, and therefore, am a bit remiss on knowing more about the French. When I read Letters from Skye, I learnt a great deal about the front lines and the intensity of staying hopeful amidst uncertainty.  Marny and Brockmole have a way of placing us into the heart of the French people and the plight of France during the war itself in such a way as to feel as though we lived the hours ourselves.

The entire first section of this novel is a beautiful eclipse of how war affects a young girl and how her life is different by living through war as it altered her neighbourhood and disrupted the lives of everyone she knew. She held a candle lit for the young boy she held an infatuation of concern for during the bombings of Paris; never knowing where his family had fled a few years before when Paris was starting to feel the blitz of the bombers. The bond she felt for Alexis and the growing love she knew was in her heart for him is what helped her endure. She cast her thoughts on his own well-being and although they lived apart during the war, her spirit was tied to his.

After the war, Anne started to fuse her passion for art into a passionate career, all the while curious about where Alexis had gone inside his own life’s adventure. She was not one who strove to entertain the idea of marriage, but rather was found in the throes of loving a man who genuinely loved her in return. Her life took on a rhythm part of her choosing and part of choosing to live a life that might become expected of her to curate. Because she elected to make choices in her life based on where society and convention were guiding her to tread, she ended up closing the door on her own heart’s desire. Anne’s life because a swirling sea of art acquisitions and galley showings featuring artists both renowned and starting out to gain an audience. As the years started to encompass her hours, even motherhood did not tether her heart to happiness.

It was always a nudge inside her mind that she had missed something, or rather that she had missed the opportunity to be with someone she always felt was more her equal and her other half. Alexis was only a boy when they departed from each others’ lives, yet the candle that once flickered for him turnt into a fiery flame renewed through happenstance which led them into that daring twist of fate where deciding which path you take in life can either be your downfall or your unexpected blessing.

I was a bit betwixt myself as I read this novel if I agreed with her choice to follow after Alexis; and I credit this vacillation to a previous novel I read in August Lemongrass Hope, of whose thematic of choice parallels I Looked for the One My Heart Loves. In many ways, what left me feeling a bit aghast is that the lead character in Lemongrass Hope found beauty and joy inside being a mother – to consider leaving her children even if she had chosen to live a different life than she dreamt for herself was a cross she was not willing to bear, yet the path she chose to live was one that surprised me in the end. Anne on the other hand is career-driven and is not willed to her children as Kate was to hers and this in of itself shows the differences within motherhood and the connection a mother shares with her children. However, for me personally, I felt Anne came off more self-centered and selfish than Kate, as Kate was caught between fate and true love. Anne never had the luxury of experiencing what Kate had with Ian, and therefore, in this instance I sided with Francois over Anne. On a lot of levels, Francois and Anne were identical to each other: each were dedicated to their professions to where they approached marriage and children second to their career.

Lemongrass Hope matches this novel for exploring the fragility of the human heart and the yearnings of a powerful mind bent on pursuing its own convicting motivation. For me, although I enjoyed reading this novel, I found myself a bit wanton of wanting to dig back into Lemongrass Hope. In a lot of ways I felt Impellizzeri had won me over for how she handled the truism of a conflicted heart and soul. Whereas Marny gave me a breath of insight into the French who survived the war and the carefree approach to living I always felt the French embraced as a celebration for life itself.

On writing a unique Romance set against time, memory, and war:

I appreciated the honesty and raw emotions that Marny stitched into her novel, as she has written a very unique Romance set against time, memory, and war. The initial reactions I felt to the story of Anne and Alexis were two people caught up in each others’ lives who drifted apart out from war. Yet, when I soaked into the story, I started to see the complexity of understanding who we choose to love and who we might have let go from our life without realising they were the ones our heart had chosen to love before our mind even realised the connection. Both of Marny’s characters made choices to marry against their own will in some ways, because neither was quite ready for what marriage would bring into their life.

The honesty within their thoughts and the actions they took after their reconnection warmed me to their story, because life as in fiction, choices can determine the fate of where we end up in our lives. And, not everything is straight-up right nor wrong, there are in-between places as well. The one I felt a bit sorry for in the story were Anne’s husband Francois, who truly loved Anne in a way she could not quite reciprocate. This is not merely a Romance novel but a literary novel centered on human emotions and the conflictions of understanding the line between desire and adultery.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Meet Dominique Marny via OpenRoadMedia

Inspired to Share:

I always appreciate seeing a video about an author I am about to read, and in this one I appreciated getting to know someone who speaks a different language than I do, because through the sub-titles and the way in which Ms. Marny describes the story she’s written, I felt connected in a way that would lend a curiosity to read her novel. I hope you appreciate seeing her inside this short introduction as much as I had originally.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Virtual Road Map for 
I Looked for the One My Heart Loves” Blog Tour:

I Looked for the One my Heart Loves Blog Tour via France Book Tours

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

France Book Tours

 via my
Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva
{SOURCES: Cover art of “I Looked for the One My Heart Loves”, book synopsis, author photograph of Mr. Malaval, author biography, and the tour host badge were all provided by France Book Tours and used with permission. The introduction video of author Jean-Paul Malaval by Open Road Media & Bordeaux travelogue by TravelTherapyTV had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Bookish Events & France Book Tours badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “I Looked for the One My Heart Loves”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Friday, 5 September, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Aftermath of World War II, ARC | Galley Copy, Art, Art History, Author Interview, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Family Drama, France, France Book Tours, French Literature, French Novel Translated into English, French Resistance, Geographically Specific, Good vs. Evil, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Military Fiction, Romance Fiction, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Singletons & Commitment, The World Wars, War Drama, War-time Romance

+Blog Book Tour+ The Wharf of Chartrons by Jean-Paul Malaval

Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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The Wharf of Chartrons by Jean-Paul Malaval

The Wharf of Chartrons Blog Tour via France Book Tours

Published By: Publishers Square , 12 August, 2014

a publishing partner of Open Road Integrated Media, Inc 

Twitter: (@OpenRoadMedia)| Facebook

Originally Published as: Quai des Chartrons by Presses de la Cite
(of Place des Editeurs)
, 2002

Available Formats:  Paperback, Ebook Page Count: 330

Translated by: Le French Book

Converse on Twitter: #TheWharfOfChartrons & #FranceBT

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comAcquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Wharf of Chartrons” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher Open Road Media, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

A note on the publisher(s) & my inspiration to read the novel:

This is my first tour hosting a Publishers Square title in conjunction with Open Road Integrated Media, Inc as a direct translation text from the original French! What is more interesting than even relaying this news, is that Open Road is known for publishing e-books and generating interest on French Literature and French authors through their social media presence & active publicity through the e-book market. Ironically or not, they have found a ‘new’ reader in myself who has a preference for ‘print books’ over ‘e-books’ who happens to be an Anglophile who holds a strong foothold now as a Francophile as I’ve spent nearly a year reading French Literature through hosting tours for France Book Tours!

I am always curious about what will be included with an ARC, and this one did not disappoint me as there was a blurb in the Appendixes section about the connection between the companies as much as a nice paragraph about how Publishers Square is attempting to make a break-through to American readers who are striving (like I am) to read more French novels and literary fiction. As I may have spoken about previously, my attachment to France is strongly influenced by my ancestral roots therein. Each story that illuminates another portion of French history, I feel a bit closer to my ancestors and those who came before me along genealogical lines of connection.

Whilst reading the synopsis for The Wharf of Chartrons, the main thread of curiosity was needled into view due to the focus on vineyards and wine; as I have always had a keen eye on wine. My favourites of course are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, of whose bouquet lends itself to a silky smooth taste and reverie. I prefer Red over White, but moreso, I prefer a wine which has been cured into its own unique essence, not too strong, tart, or sweet but a lasting impression on the one who consumes its eloquence. The history of wine from France has always intrigued me, and therefore, as a reader of World War dramas I could not pass up the chance to learn more about the region of Bordeaux!

As an aside: Each time I feel the name “Bordeaux” slip from my lips, it is flavoured a bit by a strong French sounding inflection! This coming from the girl whose French would cringe most ears! Perhaps in smaller doses, my dyslexia will not affect the sounds? I have always been able to express myself in French very “un peu!” I celebrate each new word!

The next tour I am slated to host for this unique partnership in publishing will be: I Looked for the One My Heart Loves by Dominique Marney which a dear friend and guest contributor of my blog (as time allows) will be reading for the same tour as I am! Christine recently became a tour hostess with France Book Tours, and I am thrilled to peaches we get to share in the joy of reading a translated work from a French author together! What a blessing to be able to compare notes and impressions after we’ve read the same novel! Reading is twicefold blessed when shared with a friend! In the past, I have been fortunate to share my reflections with another dear friend Lianne, who is a regular tour hostess as well. A close circle of two Americans and a Canadian sharing a passion for French Literature! La Joie!

Oy vie! Now I understand why I am being asked if my ‘name’ means “Joy!” I accidentally discovered the reason myself a moment ago whilst looking up translations for French words which would express the joy of having two friends as co-hosts on France Book Tours! There is only one letter variant between “Joy” in French and “Jorie”! Oy, oy! ‘le sigh’ Although, it is a bit of an apt choice: I am always mirthfully full of joy!
I have been enjoying using the enclosed flat card stationery sheet as a bookmark, as someone had hand-written a short note and enclosed it with the ARC. It served a ready purpose and I was in gratitude to have a memento of the publisher!

The Wharf of Chartrons by Jean-Paul Malaval

A family linked by wine and old rivalries sets out for new territory, during the turmoil of World War I.

David and Gaspard are cousins, bonded by family and their allegiance to their winemaking heritage. Parting with tradition and moving their vineyards near Bordeaux threatens to upset the family peace, but that’s only the beginning of their trouble. Short on funds, they are forced to team with a wealthy but morally corrupt engineer—though perhaps at a cost too high for the cousins…

Despite the odds, David and Gaspard succeed in making a successful wine, Clos-Marzacq. Along the way, they each fall in love, though not always in the best of circumstances. And now, to cement their successes, the cousins need to secure a stronghold on the Wharf of Chartrons, seen as the gateway to selling into England and America.

The Wharf of Chartrons exalts the passion of men who have a love of their land, and who are concerned about drawing the very best wine from it.

 

Jean-Paul Malaval

{: Author Biography :}

Jean-Paul Malaval was a journalist before turning to a career as a writer of local photography books and later fiction. In 1982, he began what would become a long-term relationship with the publishing house Éditions Milan, in Toulouse. To date, Jean-Paul Malaval has written ten works of historical fiction, mainly based in the region where he grew up, the Corrèze, which is near the Dordogne. Five of his ten novels have been published by Presses de la Cité. He is loyal to his home region and has been mayor of the town of Vars-sur-Roseix in Corrèze since 1995.

Visit the wikipedia page on him [in French].

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, 20th Century, Adulterous Affair, ARC | Galley Copy, Author Interview, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Films, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Documentary on Topic or Subject, During WWI, France, France Book Tours, French Literature, French Novel Translated into English, Geographically Specific, Historical Fiction, Passionate Researcher, Prior to WWI, Sociological Behavior, The World Wars, Vintners & Winemakers, Vulgarity in Literature, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

+Blog Tour+ My Wish List by Gregoire Delacourt

Posted Sunday, 23 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Parajunkee Designs

My Wish List by Gregoire Delacourt
Published ByPenguin Group (USA), 25 March 2014
Official Author WebsitesSite | Facebook
Converse via: #GregoireDelacourt
Available Formats: Paperback & E-Book
Page Count: 176

Acquired By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “My Wish List” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC direct from the publisher Penguin Group (USA), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Book Synopsis:

A cathartic, charmingly tender, assuredly irresistible novel, MY WISH LIST imagines one answer to the question: If you won the lottery, would you trade your life for the life of your dreams? With sales of more than half a million copies in France alone, rights sold in twenty-five countries, and a major motion picture in development, this slim yet spirited tale has sewn up the interest of the literary world.

Jocelyne Guerbette is a forty-seven year old who runs a modest fabric shop in a nondescript provincial French town. Her husband—instead of dreaming of her—wants nothing more in life than a flat-screen TV and the complete James Bond DVD box set. And to Jocelyne’s two grown-up children, who live far from home, she’s become nothing but an obligatory phone call. Perpetually wondering what has happened to all the dreams she had when she was younger, Jocelyne finally comes to terms with the series of ordinary defeats and small lies that seem to make up her life.

But then Jocelyne wins the lottery: $25,500,000! And suddenly she finds the world at her fingertips. But before cashing the check, before telling a soul, she starts making a list of all the things she could do with the money. While evaluating the small pleasures in life—her friendship with the twins who manage the hairdresser next door, her holidays away, her sewing blog that’s gaining popularity—she begins to think that the everyday ordinary may not be so bad. Does she really want her life to change?

MY WISH LIST is an essential reminder of the often-overlooked joys of everyday life and a celebration of the daily rituals, serendipities, and small acts of love that make life quietly wonderful.

Author Biography:

Gregoire Delacourt

Grégoire Delacourt was born in Valenciennes, France, in 1960. His first novel, L’Écrivain de la Famille , was published in 2011 and won five literary prizes. MY WISH LIST has been a runaway number-one bestseller in France; publication rights have been sold in more than twenty-five countries. Delacourt lives in Paris, where he runs an advertising agency with his wife.

My Book Review of My Wish List:

I was a bit taken aback from the bluntness of Delacourt’s writing, as although I’ve been reading quite of heap of French Literature over the months since I first started touring with France Book Tours, I must confess, he has a unique way for telling it like it is in a very cutting way as to leave nothing for the imagination. Somehow the opening bits of the story felt a bit awkward as I was expecting this entirely different story to shape into the starting bits of My Wish List. Not that this is entirely bad per se, but what I was sort of expecting was slightly different than what I was being given. I suppose in some ways, I felt she (Jo) might have had an idyllic life whilst owning her fabric shoppe, and that might have complicated things when her tides changed. Instead, I found a middle-aged French woman whose woes out number her blessings, and where a bit of crudeness intersects with her musings on why everything is unfair simply because life took a different path than she hoped it would.

The one part of her life I could settle into is the fact she’s an avid knitter, with projects cast on the needles all the time. She off-sets her business in fabric during the slow seasons by selling her creations in fiber, and that intrigued me. If this story was more about the haberdashery shoppe & her knitting adventures, whilst Jo turnt sour on her marriage and was looking for a bit of adventure to spice it back together, I think I would have found my footing a bit easier in the narrative. The necessity to express that life is spent whilst engaging in one lie after another lie was a bit daunting as I personally could not make a connection with the train of thought Delacourt was enticing his readers to connect with him.

His crude way of expressing intimacy and passion was a turn-off for me, as I appreciate romance and love in purer forms of expression. This is clearly one book whose premise led me astray as far as what I would find inside its covers, and I was not overly thrilled by what I was finding on the pages. In fact rather than finding an uplifting novel bent against a life shift opportunity to change one’s stars, I found the story to be sordidly depressing and full of negativity rather than light or grace. The entire world of Jo is painted black, and not in the ways you’d expect someone to find themselves depressed with their life in their middle forties!

The shortness of the story in length I wish had made up for the blights I felt against it. It was such a tug and pull to get into the heart of what makes Jo tick and why she feels the way in which she does. Each time I felt as though the story was making a turn for the better, the undertone of the elements turnt stark dark again. For me I did not make it even half-way through and that was the most I could tolerate. This is one author who disappointed me greatly whilst giving me food for thought about stories in French turnt in translation to English.

Virtual Road Map for “My Wish List” Blog Tour:

My Wish List Tour via France Book Tours

Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

France Book Tours

on my Bookish Events page!

{SOURCES: Cover art of “My Wish List”, book synopsis, author photograph of Mr. Delacourt, author biography, and the tour host badge were all provided by France Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Sunday, 23 March, 2014 by jorielov in ARC | Galley Copy, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, France Book Tours, French Literature, French Novel Translated into English, Literary Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature