Our favorite books for the weekend of January 21 and 22, 2023
Novel: Return to Constance, in search of the ghost father
In her first novel, Nicole Proton-Charlier recounts a woman’s search for identity in search of a father. A story, partly autobiographical, full of emotion.
A DNA test that will reveal a family secret. A girl finds out that her father is not her father and that her two sisters are only her half-sisters. A family game, this”
decades of fantasy
will be a long investigation, between France, Germany – and the city of Constance, where their mother is from – and the United States. In search of this unknown father and this phantom DNA.
Return to Konstanz, also a return to the family’s past, the unsaid, but also its strong ties and a whole life that lasts in other aspects, through discoveries. Lively and lively in its style, this novel can be broken, at the beginning, by its construction of alternating stories, between siblings, between past and present. But gradually the puzzle takes shape and Nicole Proton-Charlier manages to engage the reader in her story and empathize with her characters. Especially with these three siblings, both different but very close.
Without side effects, but with embedded emotion, he deploys a true narrative skill to connect tangled memories, childhood memories and the personal search for identity. And it’s all the more poignant because this first novel is largely autobiographical. A nice little achievement, between small and big History that touches on a larger reality, that of the ties tied to Germany by American GI’s in the immediate post-World War II era.
Let’s add, for the sake of anecdote but not only, that the cover was made by the comic strip designer Félix Meynet (an environment that Nicole Proton-Charlier knows in particular through her father-in-law Jean-Michel Charlier, the screenwriter of Blueberry and Buck Dany). And this drawing is a perfect depiction of the novel’s theme and atmosphere.
Return to Constance, Nicole Proton-Charlier, ed. The Inventory, 232 pages, 14 euros.
Novel: Angry Photo Reporter
“June 10, 2019. Dufaye, editorial director of La Chronique Hebdo magazine, is the victim of an attack. When Diane Choinière heard the news, she was filled with grief. Unless it’s joy? This photo-reporter, who had been abusively dismissed by Dufaye himself a few months earlier, could not be said exactly. As he cannot say with certainty that he had nothing to do with this homicide. Alcohol and anxiolytics rarely go together, he needs to clear his mind to unravel the threads of this strange event. Acute Anger is Louise Oligny’s first novel. The author imagines a heroine who has weakened, while losing everything in the face of the evolution of her work as a journalist, and of society in general.
Very angry, Louise Oligny, Ed. Marabout (Black Lab Collection), 256 pages. 20,90 €
Youth: Wolf Postman, you have mail!
Mr. Wolf, big muzzle and small black eyes, distributes letters to forest dwellers. He gets used to living alone, one day he receives a strange envelope, sent by a stranger, who comes to disrupt his daily life. The lone postman decides to investigate this mysterious recipient(s)… On his journey, he opens up to others and makes wonderful encounters. This story of friendship and unity is told by a young Ukrainian artist, author and illustrator, Katerina Sad. It’s hard not to crack up in front of these lovable characters, especially when a group of wolf children appear on the pages. A book full of love and poetry that, in the middle of winter, warms the hearts of young readers.
Mr. letter WolfKaterina Sad, Edition Flammarion – Père Castor, from 4 years old, 48 pages, €14.
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