Tuesday, April 20, 2021

L'Enfant des Camps by Francine Christophe with Pierre Marlière

 Francine Christophe is a lady, if you look at her picture, not only beauty, but also plenty of grace and serenity. You wouldn't never guess from a pic, that this lady experienced the horror of the Holocaust. But she did.  


Her book, L'Enfant des Camps


written with Pierre Marlière is a shocking but at the same time precise, vivid account of the years of her Holocaust. Francine has had the luck of not having lost his parents; her mother was captured with her and both of them were never been separated.


When she was arrested with her mother, she tells, she was learning "le tables de moltiplication" and she was at the number 5. When she returned home, three years later, in 1945, all the rest of the children knew them, while she didn't, but the trauma remained and she hasn't never been in grade of been quick with numbers. 


Yes, because as Francine remarks in this book, there is not a day that she doesn't remember what it meant Berger-Belsen and the other camps where she stayed in, two times at Drancy, the first time "better", the second time horribly, because in the camp there weren't anymore French french soldiers but  SS and horrible kapos. 


In theory Francine and her mother couldn't be deported because in family there had been soldiers prisoners of war. But they have been. The main priviledge they had was receiving mails, and sometimes his father wrote them long letters. Once reunited, that poor man couldn't recognize anymore his wife. He had left a florid lady, and now he had in front of her someone unrecognizable, with typhys.


It's impossible to forget an experience like that one, because there wasn't anymore anything of human in the treatment reserved to Jewish people and the rest of humanity nazists didn't like, writes Francine.


Francine changed several camps, but till she remained in France, although there wasn't always a human treatment, (but sometimes people were gentle) she was still in the mood of singing. It would have been impossible singing in a place like Berger-Belsen. 


When still in a french camp she composed a little song that it is now preserved in the Memorial dedicated at the victims of the Shoah. Her mother preserved in fact the paper with the words written by her daughter. 


That trains: Francine is not shy in telling what was going on in the trains where they were deported. From the beginning you felt a nauseabond smell, because, obviously before their deportation other people had suffered the same pain that had experienced Francine and her mother; treated like beasts, they had to pee and make poo directly there; once arrived at destination they were all dirty, tired, but the horror was just starting.


In a camp when they received their little food, they discovered a dead rat; in Bergel-Belsen Maurice, a friend of Francine waited everyday with impatience that one of the kapo of SS finished to eat his cheese; he had discovered that that SS had the habit of throwing away the rind; the kid discovered it and everyday was waiting for it. It was something.


The mother of Francine in the camp of Berger-Belsen had also kept away some chocolate. "I will give it to you if strongly indispensible" she said her once. Then, one day they discovered a lady who had had a baby in the camp. She was a little tiny baby; that lady was starved, was emaciated, and didn't have any strength for helping her baby. So Francine's mother decided of presenting the chocolate at that lady: Francine agreed. What I found absolutely moving and wonderful was what happened many years after this episode. The baby survived and at some point Francine organized a meetings for people interested in the Holocaust, but also of course for survivors and their families. During this first meeting, a lady donated her some chocolate. "I am the baby of the girl you and your mother have helped in the camp."

Beautiful! Wonderful! 


There are still and there will be always many fears in the mind of Francine: she can't watch horror movies, or movies containing any sort of violence. 

She can spends hours to see the pictures of the corpse of people dead in her camp, the one of Berger-Belsens or other ones, because, she underlines, that "that one has been my childhood", and that ones were the people with her in the camp. Maybe she hadn't never met them, but they were part of what she was sharing with them. 


Francine strongly avoid movies containing strong messages of violence, because she experienced what it means and obviously no one would want to live anything like that, also if fictionally.


Francine has a big fear of the night, and once, when she watched on TV the concert organized for the arrival of the New Year, I imagine the one of Wien, an air of Richard Strauss called Schnell, to her meant to be again transported in the camp, where the SS used that word, that meant billy, or trancheon.


Many are  the hidden traumas, like this one that can return on surface prepotently and abruptly in the existence of a survivor.

A survivor. 


The return in the real life hasn't been simple for Francine. She also experienced a lot of big problems; diarreah and dysentery, typhus, the poor conditions experienced, meant to her big big problems at the teeth, cystitis, and many other kind of health problems derived by malnutrion, cold and extreme conditions experienced by her body. 


Malnutrion reached dramatical proportions. When the SS understood that the end was close, they didn't mind anymore of feeding these poor people; to them, specifies Francine we were numbers not anymore people.

So one day, Francine while was walking noticed a corpse and a man on this corpse. She run away, disgusted.

People tried for their survival every possible escapism, also that one.


Francine saw wagons of corpses accumulated close to them: you can't forget that innocent people can be treated like that, and that they can die because of the dishumanity of other human beings.


Francine is optimistic regarding our times. The Second World War was born because of a general turmoil not yet sorted out at the end of the First World War, but what it was wanted by all the European Countries, in particular France and Germany, was establishing a new order of things; the creation of Europe means preserving another event like the one seen in the 1940s but also presenting peace, stability and freedom to the folks of these countries.


That's why Europe is important and it is a value that we must treasure so badly. New generations, adds Francine doesn't know what it means a lack of freedom (maybe we are experiencing it because of the covid-pandemic, but surely we hadn't never lived a limitation of freedom or massive departures, before.) In the past it wasn't like that. 

The goals reached now in terms of peace, freedom of expression and freedoms of every sorta are good fruits born because of the atrocities of the past; so it's important to preserving the memory, looking always to the future with a smiling attitude and gratitude; these free lands where we live in decided to change for better after the horror experienced in the latest world war conflict.  

 

In Berger-Belsen Francine lived in the Camp of de l'Etoile, of the Star, and with them there were jewish of many countries and different ethnicity; it meant that no one understood the other ones; yes, there were examples of jewish people who could understand and speak several languages, but for example Francine didn't know yiddish at all; there was a sort of competition of the various people of different countries in the camp and also in this way, Germans wanted to put hate between them.

But Hitler didn't invent the anti-semitism remarks Francine: it transformed that hate in a mostruosity. 


The latest train that they caught had to explode, but thank Lord they were saved by Russian soldiers and set free. Forever. A freedom, the one of Francine that meant to her, a survivor, the constant, frequent visit at schools of every genre, for telling what happened to her. No one can knows if survivors don't tell.


Once she said, she was invited at Hannover and an israelian lady told that she screamed most of the time during the night because of the SS. Another flash, a big hug with that unknown lady and the idea, they were also invited to dinner, of spending some time in solitude in her bedroom, with few food. They prepared a superb dinner at the restaurant, but at few meters of distance there were the dead people disappeared abruptly during the war; while she had to eat; eating...An impossible dream in the camp, pains experienced for the lack of food were the msot tremendous and diversified ones; Francine passed from physical to psychological torments.


Jewish people, adds Francine had been totally absorbed by the french community; they are part of the social tissue of France: they are proud of been francais, french, they fought, as the relatives of Francine did, in the french army. It was  shocking what happened to them.


A book that everyone must read!


Highly recommended.


I thank Editions Grasset for the physical copy of the book.


Anna Maria Polidori 



Monday, April 19, 2021

Cahier Alexander Dumas

 What a joy this Cahier de L'Herne dedicated to Alexander Dumas is!



To me Dumas has always meant, since the first time I read The Three Musketeers, adventure. My favorite character is Aramis because of his delicacy and elegance, but I also appreciated tremendously Porthos, because a true viveur; women, food, alcohol, courage, he didn't have any preclusion and it meant to me a lot of joy de vivre.

Dumas read himself as a vulgarisateur. He wrote once: "Lamartine est un reveur; Hugo est un penseur; je suis un vulgarizateur."


But, of course, he was more than this and he became immortal thanks to the pages he wrote, for spectators, readers; he transmitted and transmit (the immortality of writers and creatives is this one) joy, drama, pathos, fun events to his audience, not important if readers or people at theather. More recently to the cinema, with the transposition in every possible ways of his literary masterpieces; the most searched, wanted also on the big screen. 


When he died, because of the difficult social and political situation of France, the news passed  unobserved, but Victor Hugo, in a felt letter sent to his family vividly told them the essence of the powerful character that had left the world: "Le nom d'Alexander Dumas est plus que francais, il est européen; il est plus que européen, il est universal" defining him also "Une grande ame bonne." 


Yes, because Alexander Dumas was a man plenty of curiosity and starved of knowledge, and he was insatiable; he needed to discover much more everytime, falling enchanting for the world under all its shades.


He loved adventures, and the discovery of several countries. Italy was his second home; he adored our country and thanks to this passion created wonderful books passed to the history; Russia was another chapter of his existence, when invited visited the country.


In his books we find irony, drama, a lot of fun, adventures, lightness. 


Alexander Dumas, read differently history when he wrote his book if compared to the rest of his contemporaries: he wasn't interested at big passed events, he was interested in that little stories too often forgotten. He re-launched them in his writings creating situations in grade of establishing a popular, certain engagement between the reader and the story. He also read history in a pedagogical, civilization purpose. 


Antony, a drama written by Dumas meant the modern dramatization in theater. In Antony we see the differences that there are when a scandalous relationship between a married noble woman  with a daughter, and a man without too many titles become too absorbing. In the 5th act proposed in the cahier there is a final dramatic meeting between the lovers, the idea of escaping away together, for then thinking at the assassination of the husband of Adele, involved in this love-affair, after that she refused of following him because she didn't want to leave her daughter alone. It was a tremendous success this one of Antony and was created also a parody, extremely funny, called Batardi.


Dumas consacrated Madame Bovary by Flaubert in a felt article published in his Monte-Cristo. Why was a masterpiece Madame Bovary? Because, explains Dumas, in this book there are the three kinds of imaginations characterizing a story; but finding all of them, together in a book is difficult if not impossible. 

Which imaginations? The little, the secondary and the third one, the imagination of the events. He was vice-versa pretty critic regarding Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, in a letter when he lived in Naples in 1862, remarked his polemic position, underlined his disappointment in another letter this time sent to George Sand. A thematic, this one he couldn't abandon also if absorbed by italian policy. 

 

Dumas was a very prolific author also thanks to the help of several ghost-writers, and to the literary critics this one has always been an ethical problem: how to classify Dumas? He wrote in collaboration, not alone, not in solitary state, as we love to think a writer does. Because of his character, Dumas can't be "destroyed" as author, remaining a creator of books, and  pieces for the theater. 

This cahier presents five sections where the personality, character, works, plays, women, trips, and much more of Alexander Dumas are scrutinized, commented, for then leaving at the reader a large vision of the whole. 


Enjoy this new Cahier de l'Herne.  It's adoring.


Highly recommended-


I thank L'Editions de l'Herne for the physical copy of the book.


Anna Maria Polidori 


Monday, April 12, 2021

Un Bien Grand Amour Lettres à Musidora 1908-1953 by Colette edited by Gérard Bonal

 Un Bien Grand Amour


Lettres à Musidora 1908-1953 by Colette edited by Gérard Bonal is a book published by L'Editions de L'Herne.


We all know Colette and in this book the importance is focused on her correspondence with Musidora. 


The real name of this lady was Jeanne Roques. Daughter of a music composer, with a mother in love for painting, this girl wins the partecipation at a design competition, receiving a prize. 


The idea that this young girl would become a painter is great. 

But...Musidora is attracted by theather and cinema, the mute one: and she starts to acting. 

Her idol is Colette and won't hesitate of writing her a letter adding that. The year after the two women will be both at the Ba-Ta-Clan; Colette is 39 years, while Musidora, Musi, as calls Colette with love and friendship this girl, just 23. 


The year after there is the meeting with Pierre Labrouche. Colette warmly recommended to him Musidora. Pierre was a painter and an engraver. In the while, the work and friendship of these two ladies continue.


The two friends were all alone  together, in the house of Colette when the Great War was announced. Years passes by and Musi becomes the star of the cinema mute. Her roles are the most diversified ones. Horror, adventurers, reportages. At a certain point Musidora leaves for Spain where she will stay from 1922 to 1926 because in love for Antonio Canero, a bull-fighter, a torero. Musidora is a myth, recognized by everyone; a muse. Although Musidora left France for a spanish ardent torero, she will marry a doctor, Clement Marot in 1927. This relationship won't be happy and will end in a divorce in 1944. The financial situation of Musidora becomes more desperate year after year. 


In these letters you will find stories of common life, from the little kid of Colette and the improvement in growing;  private facts, health's situation of herself or people connected with her, and common friends of Musidora,  potatoes not yet arrived for being planted, or in fall fruits harvested; there are mentions about Christmas and a trip she made to Italy when we entered in war or when she spent some time with her mother and sister in the countryside. I found interesting what Colette writes when affords to Nice: she is sick because of an emphysema. It is in march 1921. She adds that she can't write her often because of her work and because of healthy problems adding in a letter that she mentally wrote her wagons of times, just that she could not; the editor Fayard enters in these letters because during the Occupation Colette publishes most of her writings for his publishing house, freshly founded, while the domestic problems of Musidora starts to worry Colette. 

During a letter written in Christmas, 1942, Colette tells to her friend that to her point of view remaining with that guy means living in a poisoned atmosphere. We all know the magic that Colette felt during the Christmas's Time. At the same time slowly the vicious situation in which lived Musy will be resolved although it will mean privations, and the divorce won't be a joke at all. And, if the existence of Colette becomes always and always more fertile and aboundant of occasions and opportunities, Colette was a business-woman not indifferent, the one of Musidora starts to be constantly more miserable. To Colette in part it's Musy's fault: too uninterested in business and money. Colette  tell her that everyday she receives 50 letters and when she notices a letter from her means happiness because it means a break from her common daily routine: bone pain, writing....

In one of the last letter Colette writes: "Je pense tellment plus à toi que tu ne peux l'imaginer..." I think of you so badly that you can't imagine... closing with "Moi, je suis toujours ton antique Colette", I remain your old Colette.

The last two selected letters are addressed to Pierre Labrouche for trying to see what it can be done for Musy. "L'historie Musy est une historie biene amère" The history of Musy is a a history very bitter" writes Colette to Pierre.


I loved Colette's simplicity in reporting events, little or big facts, with freshness and participation.

Colette didn't never write the date of the letters she sent so it was also this one a hard work for trying to classify chronologically facts, events.


Beautiful book, if you love espistolary genre, Colette or the last century, discovering everyday new characters and... histories. 


Highly recommended.


I thank L'Editions de l'Herne for the physical copy of the book.


Anna Maria Polidori 





Wednesday, April 07, 2021

La Constellation Rimbaud by Jean Rouaud

 La Constellation Rimbaud


by Jean Rouaud, published by Editions Grasset is a tribute to one of the most beloved poets of all the times: Arthur Rimbaud and the people who gravitated around him during his brief passage in this world. 


The book analyzes several cities Arthur touched or lived in, and in each city-chapter there is the punctual reconstruction for the joy of the readers of the people with which Arthur Rimbaud interacted with like also the experiences made in the while; the poetic experience was just a little part of an itinerant existence; at the end he was in grade of speaking something like 13-14 languages, including old latin and greek! Amazing mind.


He was a genius! there is nothing else to add; one of his teachers understanding the enormous potentialities of this still little boy added that nothing, but only good stuff would have been written by him. 


And it was true. Born in Charleville, his father was in the army but he was in love for writing, although what composed was mainly military stuff. 

It is supposed that this passion for writing was inherited by this vacant father, who had impregnanted the wife five times but that later neglected completely his family. Once separated he won't return anymore at Charleville. 

The mother, La Mother, as Arthur called her, was pretty ambitious regarding his son but also tender or firm, experiencing for three times the departure of a child: the last time with Arthur, when he tragically died.


Charleville like Stratford-Upon-Avon is a city, thanks to Rimbaud, world patrimony of poetry and it is in the college of this city that Arthur started his studies with his sibling Frederic. Ernest Delahaye will soon become close friend of him remaining bewitched by this boy like also Georges Izambard a pretty young teacher of rethoric; later Georges lived the misadventure of becoming deaf and was constricted to abandoning the school.

The first prize won by Rimbaud because of poetry is precocious; Arthur started to compose when in his teen-age age in fact. Then he would have wanted to launch himself in the journalism but this time without great luck.

He thought that journalism could be a good path; the wrinkled reality "la realité rugueuse"called this activity (he was right!) and confessed to his close friend Izabard that his idea would have been the one to afford to Paris for becoming a journalist. 


Oh, you musn't think that his first "meeting" with this big city and capital of France has been brilliant, for many reasons; he was put in jail because discovered ticketless in the train he had catched the first time; then bypassing his second trip, Verlaine requested him to Paris; at the arrival the first person Arthur noticed to the train station waiting for him was Mathilda, the wife of Verlaine; Mathilda noticed immediately that Rimbaud appeared like a miserable boy, dirty, pretty disordinated and didn't like this way of living and being; at home as well. Then, of course when she understood the real relationship that there was between his man and that boy, tried all her best for not losing Paul Verlaine; but, in vain. Later, Mathilde Mauté moved on and re-built her existence with other people.


Verlaine brought Rimbaud to London where it was possible to breath an international atmosphere. If Paris was the center of culture and literature, London was vice-versa projected in business, policy. Rimbaud was tendentially a communist, an anarchist, someone who wanted a different world. 

He thought that the modernity had precipitated the world in a state where the absence of poetry would have been a natural consequence. Marx emigrated in London, but also Engels,  Tissot, Pissarro and many more.


In Paris apart Verlaine with which he will live the love-story till at 1873, a connection never ended (when Rimbaud died Verlaine was one of the biggest divulgators of the poems written by his beloved Arthur) Rimbaud met inventors, but also people like Cabaner, bohemienne character with a high percentage of alcohol in his body.

Cabaner was well introduced: he knew well Renoir, Manet, Cezanne, Degat, Monet. Original man he pretended of learning music with the method he had invented: associating notes with...colors. 

Etienne Carjat had an atelier of photography. 


In Bruxelles the big drama of this sad, disastrous love-story; discovering that Rimbaud wanted to leave him Verlaine one day found a gun and tried to kill him. He was put in jail for two years. In the while Rimbaud decided that the best thing to do, after all, was to return to London; alone; but... look at the destiny, close to l'Odeon he met Germain Nouveau, a young boy, great admirer of his poems; he wanted to join him. The story of Germain is interesting.

Poet and painter, he studied at a seminary, but later decided to move on; he walked all alone for the entire European Continent learning many languages. Germain loved to study and understood very well old latin and greek.


The existence with this boy will bring him a lot of changes. Rimbaud at some point will cut completely all his long hair! 


Rimbaud tired of his existence after a while decides of joining the french army; once abandoned it, wrote to the American Consulate asking to join the American navy, but being a diserter, he specified it, no one wrote him back. 

 

I asked to myself why this drastic decision, why this radical change: maybe he felt that he wanted to live an existence thinking less and experiencing more; maybe he was simply tired; geniality brings with it these characteristics. 


Rimbaud after his first existence as poet, lived in exotic places, was in the army as said before as also his father (and he was a pacifist) lost his right leg and, after several terribe months of agony in Marseille, his existence. He was  still in his late thirties.

An existence the one of Arthur, exotic, fascinating, plenty of distant lands and adventures, with many sounds, words, perfumes, visions, faces, cultural enrichments. 


A book for all that people intrigued by the poet and what happened to this iconic symbol of french and world poetry. Very good for students in search of a good text for a thesys.



Highly recommended.


I thank Editions Grasset for the physical copy of the book.


Anna Maria Polidori 


Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Maria Aspetta Marie by Madeleine Bourdouxhe

 Maria Aspetta Marie


by Madeleine Bourdouxhe attracted me since the first time I spotted it in my magazine book club and I recently bought it. 

I read it in few hours although this reading is pretty absorbing and the characters portrayed by Madeleine pretty complicated. Life is not simple and each of us bring a past, and a present in grade of influence the existence. It's the case of Marie, a strong lady of 30 years, passionate wife of Jean, with which she lives beautiful moments. Their friends are creatives; Marie is devoted; devoted to her existence, her husband, her ideal of life although once married with Jean something is like...changed. She thinks that this fusion of bodies and characters and life together has deleted her old self starting to live with a lot of anxiety her  internal, emotional existence. 

Oh; you won't apparently notice anything of this change. Jean, for example doesn't imagine that his wife would want to experience a best existence, something more exciting and spicey. He just sees, because the projection of Marie is this one, a devoted wife, and girl.

One day during a vacation Marie spots a young boy. He is just 19 years. They won't never enter in confidence; she won't never ask him anything: his dreams, his passions; nothing. They just will go to bed together.

Oh: Marie does live this asimmetry of her internal existence pretty well. She is in love with her husband, but she also dream sometimes some escapism. 


Claude is her sister, and Claude is another chapter pretty sad of the story because she will try to kill herself;  the thematic of suicide is typical of this writer; why doing that she asks Marie when she learns that her sister tried to kill herself? It's an act of egoism; we represent life, why then this desire of sleeping for not feeling anything, for not living anything? asks to herself worried while she is assisting her sister.


I found fascinating the discovery and re-discovery of Paris; Marie, when her husband is somewhere else for work walks, lost in her thoughts reaching the most beautiful corners of the french capital, eating, drinking and smoking all alone in several cafés per hours, watching people sat close to her, imagining their destinies or just thinking, while she is defining herself and the reality where she lives into.


Marie, reserved and disinibited, closed and opened; free spiritually and physical, conscious of her being and her potentialities, she is a real portrait of a great feminist, without the pretence, after all, of being a feminist, but just the desire of living and not dying emotionally, imprisoned in the common existence of the everyday life.


Beautiful!


Highly recommended.


Anna Maria Polidori 





Monday, April 05, 2021

San Totò by Paolo Isotta

 San Totò


by Paolo Isotta is more than a book: it is a commented catalog of his movies , and at the same time there are important reflections on an artist that it is not only immortal but the italian personification of comicity.


I was more than convinced that he was a real prince, while the story is a bit different from the one commonly told everywhere: Totò born Antonio had just a mother, but was fatherless. They were pretty poor and only later, when her mother will begin the relationship with De Curtis, was recognized as legitimate son at the age of 30 years.


Antonio de Curtis was a melancholic person, sometimes egoist. 


De Curtis hated to see "around" Totò, when he wasn't filming; he preferred to visualize him in the rooms of the servants; he preferred to be set free by him when he wasn't on the set. 


Antonio de Curtis was a person extremely generous, a man in love with a lot of women (in this sense he won't never forget a girl who killed herself because Antonio refused of marrying her, putting also the name of the sventurate girl to his daughter) and luxuries of various genre. He wasn't just an actor, but also a singer, although his voice wasn't that great one; not only; he was a poet; the most remarkable poem he wrote the one of La Livella, where a poor man, in the grave discusses with a noble one, scandalized of having as a companion, close to him, someone poor! What a scandal. But rich or poors, insisted the poor man, once dead we are all equals.


Totò! I grew up with Totò, I absolutely watched all his movies and to me he has always meant a person extremely funny, generous in his donating to the viewers hours of comicity and sunny, funny time.

When they filmed his movies, you must know, like also when he was playing in the theaters, Antonio didn't love to follow the official script. So, it was important for the rest of actors to understand pretty quickly what Totò wanted to do and how to answer back.


In this sense it is emblematic what told Fellini when Totò, better, Antonio de Curtis started to be more old and sick; he said that when he was on the set, performing, he was vivacious he knew where he had to go, he constantly run here and there; once everything over, he returned to be a lifeless gray man.


These kind of actors, it is true, are never happy in the real life, because comicity implies seeing the grotesque, the sunny grotesque of the existence, and the possibility of bypassing sufferance and tragedy for reaching the heart of people with hilarious facts.


To Totò reaching the heart of people with his movies was extremely simple, because he was a real show-man.


Yes, I agree with Isotta when he writes that to him the movies signed by Pasolini were not as good as the other ones were.


I have memories of them and they are still scaring me to death; I was little at that time and I have been always a sensitive person; in a movie, Le Streghe, Totò wears a wig;  someone committes a suicide.

We were living in the area moments like that ones told in the movie, and all that desperation seen in the movie meant to me a long moment of destabilization.


Where was the sunny Totò? The one who made us laugh and smile? I have always been scared by the movies made by Pasolini where Totò was involved in.


I know that Pasolini is considered the most important intellectual of the XX century in Italy; he reflected his thoughts and feelings in movies. He was a tormented soul.

Totò wasn't the best person for an operation like that one.


Totò was born to donate to the world a solid, sunny laugh!


In the books is also treated the professional relationship established by Antonio with Peppino de Filippo, and much more. 


Highly recommended


I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.


Anna Maria Polidori 








Friday, April 02, 2021

Une Certaine Idee du Paradis by Elisabeth Segard

 I was attracted by Une Certaine Idee du Paradis


written by Elisabeth Segard and released by Callmann-Levy because of its title and because of the synopsis I had read. Lockdowns, red, yellow, orange zones, some escapism in real places, or in places similar after all to the the one where I live in, was more than necessary.


This one is an adorable book. You will be catapulted in a corner of french that is little, but precious and where, the most important fact is the procession and feast of Saint Roch, celebrated every August 16th; but in this story there will also be also a crime because...You musn't never think that little towns are boring. Sometimes they are more interesting and "capturing" than not a big city where anonimity is unfortunately a limit.


Mouy-sur-Loire, 1 504 citizens, is an adorable corner of the world where life is like suspended; its citizens are connected together, they live their tribulations, joys, happinesses sharing events, and facts. A place where, just recently Facebook and other social medias entered prepotently in the existence of all these people. There are people with a certain past: like Violet, who bought a country house close to the village when her poor husband disappeared leaving her cheerfully wealthy so that she changed her existence, leaving the city for a calmer place.

For Saint Rock in August 16th there is great participation of local folk and tourists. It's the moment of the year where all the community earn more money thanks to the people of the village and surrounding areas.

You find in the town a café that it is a restaurant as well, the school, a pharmacy, a doctor, a store where they sell clothes, and something else. 

As it happen often, in these little towns, one of the most respected persons is the priest, friar Marcel, in this case, organizer every year of the feast dedicated to Saint Roch and constantly worried because everything must be organized well.


He is not alone....


Cédric Boquet, biologist, returned to Mouy, for starting a business.



Of course every new entry brings a lot of curiosity in the citizens of the town because they don't tend to see too many times unkown faces and, in particular if someone wants to start to live in their town they want to try to understand who that person is, and if, of course he/she is a decent one.


The new entry is a weird lady with strong opinions and city habits. Her name is Nathalie Aubispaud and she bought the house at Verronnerie or the so-called des Ours. 

The first meeting is with Ahmed; Ahmed, is in the town from more than 10 years and doesn't want to be surrounded by nasty people asking the impossible. Nathalie has clear ideas: she wants to plant a lot of veggies and aromatic herbs: she is an addicted of the every authentic and natural food but, she starts to be considered by everyone too snob. "Elle se prende pour une princesse" will say once Ahmed with which she had had a discussion.


But, while Nathalie tries all her best for being accepted by this little community, she dies. Apparently it could have been considered an incident, because she fell, but someone injured her head, and this one becomes a case of homicide.

No one wants to believe that Nathalie has been assassinated. Why? Who? These ones are not facts so common in the town where being in the first page of a newsmagazine is difficult: spreading the news of a murder on Facebook means a lot of likes and celebrity.


 In the while someone is put in jail accused of having killed Nathalie. Not happy of the police investigation Violette Laguille starts of asking questions to a lot of people on Nathalie and someone is not happy because of it...


I can't tell you more or I will discover too much! ruining your reading but I can tell you that this one is a captivating reading that will bring you in real places, as the one where it is sets the book.


At the end of the book historical facts about the town and the legend of Saint Roch!


Highly recommended.


I thank Elisabeth Segard for the copy of her book!


Anna Maria Polidori