This book by Britta Rostlund, Aspettando Monsieur Bellivier, or Waiting for Monsieur Bellivier published by Marsilio Romanzi an italian publishing house is a captivating, wonderful entralling book. Trust me when I say you that you won't never put this book down once you will start to read it.
It is not a quick book, it knows the proper times. It filters life looking at it under many angles.
Times of life, of events, revelations, shocking news, funny stories.
While I was reading this book I thought that there were similarities with Waiting for Godot by Sam Beckett.
The metaphor of life...In that story protagonists wait for the arrival of Godot, but we should read Godot as an event, beautiful mainly, come on. The arrival of someone is a novelty.
Just the expectation of breaking monotony with an arrival is great.
Pity that the protagonists won't be in grade to move anything for create this event, remaining in the same point, in the same place as bewitched by some strange supernatural force or just by life.
In this case it's the opposite. Monsieur Bellivier will be like a sort of bomb in the life of the two protagonists of this book and later he won't remain a ghost.
We all maybe have experienced a Monsieur Bellivier, an unknown person that we don't know, hidden somewhere and in grade where not to manipulate our existence to keep us interested to him/her.
He is a phantom, but in grade of producing a cause and an effect in the life of the person he wants to involves in his game.
You won't never see him if you are not lucky and sly enough; sometimes he can remains an entity, other times someone you can give a face at.
Oh: the second option the best one, of course.
Helena Folasadu is a freelance journalist and she is sat in a café when a man asks her if, for case, she waits for Monsieur Bellivier.
No, Helena thinks, she doesn't wait for any monsieur Bellivier, but this last name intrigues her a lot; no, better it's the situation to be curious. Who is this man and who is monsieur Bellivier? Why that man seems to search for her?
She follows the man. She knows that it is irrational but she does it.
She discovers that Monsieur Bellivier is a phantom. She must forward for several weeks some e-mails she will receive everyday.
Payment is very good, why not adding other money to the one of her work, very well paid as reporter for various magazines?
Helena doesn't live this story well.
It's unclear, and there is someone somewhere (Monsieur Bellivier) moving a puppet: her.
Who is he?
What does this Monsieur Bellivier wants and first of all is Monsieur Bellivier a good person?
The reporter starts to think that maybe she is a cell of terror, someone working for a group of terrorists. Sometimes it happens. And if she would be a so-called cell without to know that? Terror!
The cover of the book is beautiful, and the reason for that bouquet of flowers is simple: at the end of every work-day the reporter receives a bouquet of flowers delivered by the receptionist.
Helena doesn't see it positively.
She could be potentially obserbed with an object on her hands.
A bouquet of flowers is visible. Maybe Monsieur Bellivier is following her? Is it that one a secret message for telling him that that specific person works for him? Why this gesture is repeated everyday?
When she goes out of her office and workplace thinking that these flowers are dirty she starts to present them to statues of writers, people she doesn't know and visiting the Jewish cemetery of the city she picks up a grave of a lady. This one will become the most interesting part of her story.
In her case monsieur Bellivier not only acted positively but created the humus for new contacts, a different vivacity in her life and new projects.
Mancebo is the second ring of this chain. He has a grocery store. You musn't imagine anything immense. Prices in his store are a bit more elevated than the ones you find in a supermarket. His life is repetitive and boring, after all.
He picks up new veggies and fruits everyday, he opens the grocery store, he sits in an affectionate stool from 30 years at this part watching people when he doesn't sell items, then he returns upstairs where his beloved wife Fatima prepares the lunch for him. Then re-opens the grocery store, then it closes it, then he eats again and then he goes to bed.
This one is his life. He is an innocent man with a clear and honest life, a person who has always worked without to see what it was going on in his life and imagining that his life corresponds to the one of people close to him. He is an angelic creature in this sense, not just innocuous but pure under many aspects.
His old life will be interrupted forever by the arrival of Madame Cat, a strange lady. She will asks him a pleasure: an unusual one...
To investigate regarding a possible parallelal love-story of her husband. The husband lives close to his grocery store and his house. Hadn't he never noticed him? No, Mancebo has never noticed him; Mancebo hasn't never seen what it was under his eyes after all.
From that moment Mancebo will become a true, nice, funny investigator. I am more than sure that you will laugh a lot reading his adventures and his conclusions are pretty shocking.
I would want to tell you more, but I don't want to ruin you the pleasure of reading this book waiting for the next page and adventure of the various protagonists understanding that sometimes life is not the one we think that it is and that old sad facts can still be lived with a big sensation of discomfort.
It is one of the funniest, captivating but at the same time meditative books that I read this year and the proper synthesis of what life is: we all wait for Monsieur Bellivier, for a change, for an opportunity or just for Monsieur Bellivier, because he will be surely in grade to let us see clearly our reality.
Hoping to discover after all his/her real identity.
I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori