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4.0 

Connemara

By Nicolas Mathieu & Sam Taylor
Connemara by Nicolas Mathieu & Sam Taylor digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A breathtaking story of unfulfilled dreams, unexpected second chances, and love in a present-day France turning against itself, from the Goncourt Prize–winning author of And Their Children After Them.

Hélène is approaching 40. Born in a small town in the east of France, she worked hard to leave it behind and achieve a life worthy of the glossy magazines she pored over as a teen. But now that she seemingly has it all—a husband and two daughters, a successful career, and a custom-designed house near Nancy—she feels unfulfilled, as though the years have passed her by.

Christophe just turned 40 and has never left his little corner of France, where he grew up with Hélène. No longer as handsome as he used to be, he’s led an unassuming life, preferring to party with friends than to apply himself. These days, he’s selling dog food, dreaming of playing hockey again like he did when he was 16, and living with his father and son—a quiet, indecisive existence, which could be seen as failure. And yet he fully believes that anything is still possible.

Through the story of how their two disparate lives intersect once more, Connemara beautifully evokes the complex pain and joy of returning to your roots, and trying to make a relationship last in a rapidly changing, increasingly divided country.

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3 Reviews

4.0
““En eindelijk dan de stem van Sardou, met die woorden die leken te spreken over elders, terwijl iedereen wist wat er van hem verwacht werd. Want dat land, die meren en die rivieren, dat waren maar beelden, folklore. Het lied had niets met lerland te maken. Het sprak over iets anders, vertelde een gewoon verhaal, hún verhaal, dat zich niet had afgespeeld op de hei of dat soort onzin, maar daar, op het platteland en in vrijstaande huisjes, met kleine stappen, tijdens de inspanningen van onveranderlike dagen, in de fabriek en dan op kantoor, nu in magazijnen en toeleveringsketens, ziekenhuizen en bij het afvegen van de billen van oude mensen, dit leven met zijn hopeloze evenwicht, maandagen waar geen eind aan kwam en soms het strand, je hoofd laten hangen en een loonsverhoging als het zover was, veertig jaar en meer werken om je minituintje te schoffelen, in het voorjaar te kijken naar een kersenboom in bloei, weten dat je thuis bent, en dan de oudste die op zondag langskwam in een Megane, met de Maxi-Cosi achterin, een kind dat iedereen geruststelt: uiteindelijk was het de moeite waard. Dat alles wist iedereen instinctief bij de eerste tonen, omdat iedereen al talloze malen op de transistor, in de auto, op tv had gehoord hoe dat bombastische, onontkoombare lied iedereen bij zijn lurven pakte en een gevoel van trots bezorgde.””

About Nicolas Mathieu

Nicolas Mathieu was born in Épinal, France, in 1978. His first novel, Aux animaux la guerre, was published in 2014 and adapted for television by Alain Tasma in 2018. He is the author of And Their Children After Them (Other Press, 2020), for which he received the Goncourt Prize, France’s most prestigious literary award, and Rose Royal (Other Press, 2022). He lives in Nancy.

Sam Taylor is an award-winning literary translator and novelist. He has translated more than sixty books from French, including Laurent Binet’s HHhH and Leila Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny, and his four novels have been translated into ten languages. He was born in England, spent ten years in France, and now lives in the United States.

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