#Paris In July Laclavetine
Author: Jean-Marie Laclavetine
Title: Une amie de la famille
Table of Contents: 222 pages
- I discovered this book while searching the list of French literary prizes.
- Laclavetine wrote Un amie de la famille fifty years after his sister Annie’s death.
- He decided to reveal his heartbreak…
- about the memory of one who is no longer spoken about.
- Years after the accident when Annie’s parents saw a
- a photo found in a shoebox….told their youngest son
- who was 6 when his sister died that
- it was “une amie de la famille”…never admitting their loss.
- 30% of this book is a revelation of the strong love
- between the author’s parents through letters found in the attic.
- 30 % is about Laclavetine’s sister Annie (20 yr)
- who died in an accident.
- The most striking part of the
- book is the moment Laclavetine receives his sister’s
- letters that she wrote to her boyfriend a year before she died.
- We discover a very troubled soul….that she kept hidden.
- 40% is about the author’s thoughts feelings of trauma
- that haunted his the rest of his life.
- Quest: discover if the images the author remembers
- of Annie and the accident correlate with reality.
- This is a book full of reminiscences, reflexions and encounters
- not a funeral monument for Annie…“une amie de la famille.”
- Laclavetine leads us where memories live…in the depths of his childhood.
- This is a very touching book but it just is not a great book.
- In fact, I felt the book was more about the author than his sister.
- Quote: Death made me what I am.
- Weak point: I missed a feeling of deep loss with dignity.
- It all centered around the author’s need to set the record straight
- …and write a book!
- By the way….he wrote a follow up this year
- ….again squeezing yet another book out of Annie’s life.
- #À éviter…vous gagnerez du temp
- Avoid….and save your time!
- Une amie de la famille reminds me of other books
- in which the authors take the reader on a journey
- about why they wrote their very personal books:
- Retour à Killybegs – S. Chalandon (The Troubles in Northern Ireland)
- Available in english: Return to Killybegs
- Le Lambeau – P Lançon (attack on Charlie Hebdo writers)
- Available in english: Surviving Charlie Hebdo
- This genre seems to capture the reader’s imagination.
- Recommendation? leave Une amie de la famille on the shelf and open
- Delphine de Vigan’s book Rien ne s’oppose à la nuit.
- It is a stunning book about her mother – daughter relationship.
- Available in english Nothing Holds Back the Night.