Thursday, March 20, 2014

Book review of My Wish List by Gregoire Delacourt

Today I am taking part in a virtual book tour via France Book Tours for Grégoire Delacourt’s novel My Wish List that will be released on March 25th.

Synopsis (provided by the publisher):
A cathartic, charmingly tender, assuredly irresistible novel, MY WISH LIST imagines one answer to the question: If you won the lottery, would you trade your life for the life of your dreams? With sales of more than half a million copies in France alone, rights sold in twenty-five countries, and a major motion picture in development, this slim yet spirited tale has sewn up the interest of the literary world.

Jocelyne Guerbette is a forty-seven year old who runs a modest fabric shop in a nondescript provincial French town. Her husband—instead of dreaming of her—wants nothing more in life than a flat-screen TV and the complete James Bond DVD box set. And to Jocelyne’s two grown-up children, who live far from home, she’s become nothing but an obligatory phone call. Perpetually wondering what has happened to all the dreams she had when she was younger, Jocelyne finally comes to terms with the series of ordinary defeats and small lies that seem to make up her life.

But then Jocelyne wins the lottery: 18,547,301.28€! And suddenly she finds the world at her fingertips. But before cashing the cheque, before telling a soul, she starts making a list of all the things she could do with the money. While evaluating the small pleasures in life—her friendship with the twins who manage the hairdresser next door, her holidays away, her sewing blog that’s gaining popularity—she begins to think that the everyday ordinary may not be so bad. Does she really want her life to change?

MY WISH LIST is an essential reminder of the often-overlooked joys of everyday life and a celebration of the daily rituals, serendipities, and small acts of love that make life quietly wonderful.
Gregoire Delacourt

About the Author:
Grégoire Delacourt was born in Valenciennes, France, in 1960. His first novel, L’Écrivain de la Famille, was published in 2011 and won five literary prizes. MY WISH LIST has been a runaway number-one bestseller in France; publication rights have been sold in more than twenty-five countries. Delacourt lives in Paris, where he runs an advertising agency with his wife.

My review:
We follow Jocelyne, an ordinary wife and mother in a family with communication issues, who doesn’t have a great sense of self-worth as she reminisces about her life and unfulfilled dreams. When she wins the lottery she makes a list of things she would like, things she could now buy without worrying about the money and these are surprisingly ordinary things! She is very level headed but also frightened of change and keeps the win to herself initially. However, not everyone in her life thinks the same way she does and that is where the real story begins to unravel.

I found this a quick read novel with a rather bizarre set of characters, many of who were difficult to warm to. It is real-life and gritty so I didn’t find it an uplifting book, maybe not ideal for those who want an afternoon or two of happy escapism and Champagne filled glasses. However, I liked that it made me think. What is it that is important in life? What is happiness? What difference would a lottery win make? Does/can money make you happy?

My Wish List is published by Penguin in paperback format and will be available from 25th March.

France Book Tours

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