5 good novels to devour in february

Another investigation for Peter Swanson, the latest novel by Emmanuelle de Boysson, an inquiry into the mysteries of Gustav Klimt, the debut novel by couturier Colette Maciet, the childhood of Farida Khelfa... The literary gems of the moment, it's all happening right here!

 

A journey to the heart of the golden age of French fashion

Haute Couture. Une vie aux côtés des plus grands couturiers. de Colette Maciet

The Good Read: "Haute Couture: A Life Alongside the Greatest Couturiers" by Colette Maciet

For Whom? Fashionistas hungry for secrets about the world of fashion.

The Pitch: Paris, 1960s. Welcome to the elegant world of Parisian fashion. Colette Maciet was only 14 when she started learning the ropes, moving from workshops to workshops before becoming a premier atelier at 30. She then became the indispensable seamstress for the greatest designers such as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, and Nina Ricci... An extraordinary destiny!

In an incredible journey filled with nostalgia, Colette Maciet immerses us in the heart of the golden age of French fashion. She witnesses this society in full transformation, becoming its confidante and knowing all its secrets, geniuses, flaws, splendor, and decadence. She also describes what her profession was like, from sketching to fittings to meetings with the creators. A captivating narrative!

Why You'll Love It: After four decades of loyal service to the most prestigious French haute couture houses, Colette Maciet delivers a precious testimony of this unique universe. She pays homage to all those unsung heroes, the skilled hands behind the fame of great designers. The cherry on top? Inès de la Fressange's touch, who brilliantly writes a preface worthy of such a story.

 

 

An artistic investigation

L’inconnue du portrait de Camille de Peretti 

The Good Read: "The Unknown Woman in the Portrait" by Camille de Peretti

For Whom? Art history lovers who enjoyed "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier.

The Pitch: Rosy cheeks, almond-shaped eyes, a crystalline gaze, black hair swept back... But who is this mysterious woman painted by Gustav Klimt in 1910? This famous Portrait of a Lady, this young girl, her tumultuous story, are a mystery both to the art world and to police investigators. From the streets of Vienna in 1900 to Texas in the 1980s, from Manhattan during the Great Depression to Italy in the 1920s, the author imagines a sweeping saga intertwining family secrets, spectacular successes, passionate quests, and dramas.

This is the story of the unknown woman in the portrait, at least as imagined by Camille de Peretti, inspired by the reality of this artwork, from its theft to its restitution, including the arrest of a forger... The book is difficult to put down, and the suspense is utterly addictive!

Why You'll Love It: It's always impressive to see how, with a bit of imagination and a lot of talent, anything can come to life. Camille de Peretti takes her role very seriously: the author has the art and the way of recounting fabulous destinies, drawing her reader into the psychology and intimate thoughts of her characters. The cherry on top? Enjoying reconstructing this complex puzzle, navigating through fiction and reality. Eras blend, characters intertwine to form a brilliantly arranged puzzle at the end of which everything is masterfully clarified.

 

 

The poignant tale of Farida Khelfa's childhood

Une enfance française de Farida Khelfa 

The Good Read: "An French Childhood" by Farida Khelfa

For Whom? Readers in search of a beautiful story about the quest for identity.

The Pitch: It is upon the death of her mother, and as she discovers the funeral rites of her origins, that fashion icon Farida Khelfa decides to delve into her childhood, in a moment of intense introspection. Coming from a family of Algerian immigrants, she had to invent herself, carve out a place in a new world, and find her own identity.

Through the lens of her childhood, sometimes raw and unfiltered, sometimes sensitive and poetic, she recounts the miserable housing projects, the men broken by illiteracy and colonization, the mothers petrified by the challenges of daily existence, her siblings raised in violence but bound together by the force of life. And later, her exile to Paris, where she encounters figures like Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Louboutin, who will profoundly influence her life and her journey as a free woman, liberated from the dictates imposed by her family and society.

Why You'll Love It: The former model, who is also known for her work as a filmmaker and documentarian with projects like "Louboutin" and "On the Other Side of the Veil", presents her debut novel here. With extraordinary resilience, Farida Khelfa delivers a tough, ultra-inspiring, and deeply touching testimony. We'll remember as a mantra her ability to transform the cruelest details into a true zest for life.

 

 

A surprising novel that will leave you spellbound

Le coup au cœur d'Emmanuelle de Boysson 

The Good Read: "The Heartbreak" by Emmanuelle de Boysson

For Whom? Enthusiasts of fabulous women's destinies.

The Pitch: This is the story of Emma, the story of her heartbreak. Emma died on February 7, 2022. Her heart stopped beating for thirty minutes. A victim of a heart attack, she is saved and then plunged into an artificial coma. What follows is a long stay in the hospital, pain, numerous sequels, and sometimes despairing rehabilitation, with the sole objective of returning to a normal life. But after such an accident, can life remain the same?

Emmanuelle de Boysson narrates the battle Emma wages against herself, her new sensations, her relationship with death that she had never before questioned. The plus? The medical details are transcribed with meticulousness, her groans, her vomiting, her stiffness... everything is there, even the near-death experience, which the author approaches with just the right amount of humor, honesty, and sensitivity.

Why You'll Love It? Emmanuelle de Boysson has repeatedly demonstrated her talent for telling inspiring women's stories. Whether in "June," "I Live Only for You," or in her historical trilogy "The Time of Women," she approaches these wonderful destinies with joy and sometimes deeply moving sincerity. "The Heartbreak" is no exception: the writer delivers a true anthem to life and celebrates, with contagious enthusiasm, those little things that make our daily happiness.

 

 

A completely addictive thriller

Neuf vies de Peter Swanson 

The Good Read: "Nine Lives" by Peter Swanson

For Whom? Fans of psychological thrillers, unconditional fans of Agatha Christie's investigations.

The Pitch: Imagine receiving a mysterious list of nine names, including yours. Now notice that two of the people on this same list have died in equally mysterious circumstances. The countdown begins, fear grips your stomach, and you find yourself completely powerless against this new threat.

Yet nothing seems to link you to the others, neither age nor social background, and certainly not geographical location, as the people are scattered from Massachusetts to New York State, California, and even Michigan. Pure coincidence or premeditated murder? As more murders occur, FBI agent Jessica Winslow investigates the case, determined to get to the bottom of it... especially since her name is also on the list.

Why You'll Love It? Peter Swanson loves to build tension! He skillfully handles the psychology of the characters, who are carefully sketched out in short chapters that leave no room for respite. The crime fiction author, known for "Eight Perfect Murders" and "Rules for Perfect Murders", pays a deliberate homage to the queen of crime novels Agatha Christie and her book "And Then There Were None". His trademark? Literary references and his playful approach to mystery novel conventions. The thriller is so well-crafted that no clues are found before the final twist, which is truly surprising. Just brilliant!

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