Published: France 2020 English translation 2022
Publisher: Gallic Books
A Parisian author trying to overcome his writer’s block decides to write a novel about the first person he sees outside his apartment: an elderly woman. She agrees to an interview, so long as she can put away her groceries first. Making his way into the life of the octogenarian and her family, he finds himself sucked deeper and deeper into their story, with unexpected consequences. At first, aiming to be a neutral observer, he finds himself helping his subject hunt down an old love on Facebook, interrogating a prospective boyfriend of her granddaughter, and otherwise doing the bidding of his would-be characters. Despite its wit and quirkiness, the novel boils down to everyday hopes and fears. Am I going to lose my job? Does my spouse still love me? Are my teenage children normal or future delinquents? It is fair to say that this is a story about art imitating life, while life is, imitates art. Though it can lag in places, Foenkinos provides an entertaining read that I recommend.
I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
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