A delightful narrative about love in all its forms as told through multiple vignettes. Rights have been sold in two countries and the paperback edition published in early February is part of the selection for the Grand Prix des Lecteurs Pocket.
One evening, in a Parisian restaurant, a dozen couples, some forming, others on the verge of breakup, have come to dine. During this time, there are those who try and catch someone’s eye and others who look away. Hands touch. Yet everyone, in one way or another, everyone foots the bill.
Jellied eggs, andouillette in mustard sauce, steaks and fries... There is something for everyone in this "classic brasserie, frozen in time, with its ancient codes, that modernity caresses without reforming" which is also true of the characters who rub shoulders there. Like the angry woman in her "old beige raincoat" who suddenly stands up to leave her husband "after so many years of humiliation". Then there is Cyril, the Breton bartender who had moved to Paris to study film but who, in the end, prefers to stay behind the bar and fantasize about Marion, "the new young waitress who is, however, difficult to approach". And the family man, full of gratitude and love for "his Jeanne", his wife, with whom he had dined here for 40 years and for whom he continues to order a steak even though she has recently died.
This novel "is a sort of portrait of love in all its manifestations, for richer, for poorer," says Claire Renaud, author of the work as well as of The Angel and the Cello (Fleuve editions, 2020) and winner of the Prix Jeunesse Quais du Polar/Ville de Lyon en 2020.
"We decided to publish this novel because we liked the concept of a story that takes place in an enclosed space. We were seduced by the originality of the story’s construction, the way the author writes of couples and the way she approaches relationships and loneliness," explains Anne-Sophie Millet, rights manager for Univers Poche, who is responsible for Fleuve éditions’s foreign rights.
A love story at every table
"We enjoy and are moved by discovering the thoughts of two people who love each other... or have loved each other", "a waltz perfectly choreographed by the author, which takes us through the pages and the emotions", "a beautiful novel, both tender and bitter, that talks of love and all its complexity with great sensitivity and in a way we can all relate to", says the French press. Instagram readers were just as delighted: "It's as pleasant to read as if going out to a good restaurant".
"We launched our marketing for this title to foreign publishers and scouts very early on and sold some rights before it was even released in January 2022." The editor at Germany’s DTV was drawn by the ambience of the novel from the very beginning. She found the writing effective, full of emotion, humorous and subtle. She immediately fell in love with the characters," says Anne-Sophie Millet. In Italy the rights have been sold to Rizzoli and their version is scheduled to be released this summer.