Breaking News in Books, April 2022

Sabine Bouillon’s Favorites

L’autre Molière
By Eve de Castro - Ed .de l’Iconoclaste
The other Molière

On February 17, 1673, Molière has just died. A nasty rumor circulated according to which Molière would have benefited from the help of Corneille to write his comedies. Could this adored actor and this talented author have deceived us?

As if this was in a play, his own entourage start having doubts and share their concerns. Corneille, Madeleine Béjart, his daughter as well as Armande, Molière’s young wife and Michel Baron, a favorite actor share their preoccupation. In a voiceover, Molière remembers his difficult years, his visits to the provinces, his meeting with Louis XIV, the royal favor he obtains, his success as well as the critics he receives. In this year celebrating the bicentenary of Molière’s birth, Eve de Castro takes us back in Paris in the 17th century, a city in search of pleasures where theater companies fight each other for the protection of the Greats of the Kingdom. She gives us with verve and erudition, her own version of the controversy. Are they friends or enemies?

By Clara Dupont-Monod - Editions Stock

A family in the Cévennes welcomes a third child. A beautiful child unfortunately carrying a heavy handicap. Clara Dupont-Monod decribes with delicacy and empathy the upheaval caused within the family. The eldest son who overprotects this child, the sister who rejects him and the child born after who carries the sadness of the family. This novel received the Femina prize and also won the Goncourt des Lycéens’ prize in 2021.

A Rising Man
By Abir Mukherjee - ‎ Pegasus Books

The story takes place in Calcutta in 1919. A British inspector is called to the rescue to solve two criminal cases, a murder and an attack on the Calcutta Darjeeling. He is assisted by a young Indian, Sergeant Banerjee. This book which focuses on an investigation based on historical facts describes with realism the atmosphere found in India during the British Empire and the complex relations between the two communities. This detective novel, rich in humor is the first of a series.

Small Things Like These
By Claire Keegan - Faber FF

Bill Furlong sells wood and coal in a small town in the Irish countryside. He leads a simple and happy life. In 1985, on Christmas Eve he prepares the party with his wife and four daughters. As he is called for a delivery to a nearby convent run by nuns who employ young girls in their laundry. He will make an encounter that will have an enormous impact on his life.

Claire Keegan, an Irish author, masters beautifully well the art of short stories. Thanks to her concise writing with carefully chosen words, she depicts a rural Ireland, inhabited by modest people who reveal themselves in the light of particular circumstances. As always, she is generous towards her characters and demonstrates once again her enormous talent.