Publishing year: 2014
This new book is about the search of one’s roots.
The novel starts in 1942 as a couple with two children are crossing the Pyranees towards Spain. Elise is an English woman, and her husband is Luis, a Spanish journalist. They have two children, six-year-old Madeleine, and baby Robert. What they intend is for Elise and the children to leave for England while Robert returns to France and fight against Hitler. They promise to see each other as soon as the war is over. Yet, we learn later that Robert didn’t make it. That turned Elise into a morose woman, and in 1956 Elise is dying of cancer. Their children feel that they didn’t really know much about their mother, and she didn’t talk much about their father. So eager to know more and escape the suffocating home of her grandparents, Madeleine, who is now 21, goes to Paris. There she stays with her tante Louise, in the same apartment her parents met in 1942. Louise and her daughter Solange tell Madeleine about her vibrant mother and how strong the love between her and her father was. After Paris, Elise and Luis moved to a small town in the south of France. Madeleine decides to go there and make some enquiries. There’s a man she used to call Uncle Philippe, who might still be alive, and she wants to find and ask him about her parents. Tante Louise doesn’t agree with this, but there’s nothing stopping Madeleine, and she soon is on her way to Vermeilla.
Interesting start. It is a captivating book which I’m sure I’ll enjoy. I wonder what secrets will Madeleine will find.