Bilan 2021

2021 a été une année chargée et cruciale, notamment sur le plan professionnel. Je suis retournée en Haute-Savoie, où j’ai pu accomplir d’autres missions. J’ai passé le concours de catégorie B dans la culture. Je ne l’ai pas eu d’un point, mais j’y suis allée sans réviser, donc je suis plutôt contente. D’autres projets n’ont pas abouti, comme mon entreprise, mais ce n’est que partie remise.

En cliquant sur [lien], vous avez accès à l’article correspondant.

Moins de confinements (non que je m’en plains) et un peu plus de responsabilité au travail… J’ai beaucoup moins lu que l’année précédente [Bilan 2020]. J’ai lu 185 livres pour un total d’environ 60.000 pages. Sur Goodreads, je m’étais fixée un objectif d’une centaine de livres lus… Largement dépassé ! Comme l’année, j’étais curieuse de connaître quel était le genre littéraire le plus lu, ou la thématique la plus représentée dans mes lectures…


Encore une fois, les essais représentent le plus gros de mes lectures, puisque j’en ai lu 43, soit environ 24% des livres lus cette année. Les thématiques varient très peu, en revanche : beaucoup d’histoire (Moyen-Âge et Renaissance, surtout pour le travail et Seconde Guerre mondiale, la période historique qui me fascine le plus), et d’art (je prépare le concours de conservateur du patrimoine) et un peu d’essais politiques ou de philosophie. Même si c’est le genre le plus lu, c’est clairement celui qui est le moins représenté sur le blog.

Mes trois essais préférés de 2021 : Eichmann à Jérusalem d’Hannah Arendt ; Le marché de l’art sous l’Occupation d’Emmanuelle Pollack ; Charlotte Salomon. Vie ? ou théâtre ?

En 2020, le deuxième genre littéraire le plus lu a été les classiques. J’en ai un peu moins lu cette année, seulement une vingtaine au compteur. J’ai continué ma découverte des Rougon-Macquart. J’avais pour objectif de terminer la série en 2021, mais cela n’a pas été le cas. J’ai bien avancé, il m’en reste une dizaine à lire. J’ai également relu un certain nombre de mes pièces de Shakespeare préférées, m’inspirant un objectif pour 2022.

Mes trois classiques de 2021 : Guerre & Paix de Léon Tolstoï [lien] ; Faust de Johann von Goethe ; L’Assomoir d’Emile Zola


Au niveau des thématiques, la Seconde Guerre mondiale reste en tête des thématiques, tous genres confondus. J’ai lu 43 ouvrages dans ce domaine. Je pensais, en revanche, avoir lu beaucoup plus de livres autour des réécritures mythologiques ou de contes, mais elles représentent en définitif même pas une dizaine de livres… J’ai eu quelques livres sur ce sujet à Noël et j’ai une idée de série d’articles dans ce domaine, donc sûrement plus de lectures à venir. En revanche, j’ai lu énormément autour d’un sujet bien spécifique : des thrillers psychologiques prenant place dans des lycées, mais surtout des universités… J’ai eu de nombreux coups de coeur dans le domaine !

Trois ouvrages coups de coeur autour de la Seconde Guerre mondiale : The Berlin Girl de Mandy Robotham [lien] ; Par amour de Valérie Tuong Cong ; Le fauteuil de l’officier SS de Daniel Lee

Trois ouvrages coups de coeur autour des réécritures : Lore d’Alexandra Bracken [lien] ; Near the bone de Christina Henry [lien] ; L’Odyssée de Pénélope de Margaret Atwood


Mes trois meilleures lectures de 2021

Il n’est malheureusement pas chroniqué sur le blog, mais ce petit ovni littéraire a su me passionner d’un bout à l’autre. Il retourne quelque peu le cerveau et il faut se laisser porter, accepter qu’il ne faut pas toujours tout vouloir comprendre pour apprécier ce roman. Cependant, l’univers est absolument incroyable et je lirai très prochainement le deuxième tome, Numérique.

Ce classique de la littérature américaine m’a terrorisé pendant des années, et j’ai enfin sauté le pas. Je m’en veux presque d’avoir attendu aussi longtemps avant de le découvrir. Il m’a tenu en haleine et j’ai adoré le personnage de Scout. Elle est d’une intelligence vive et elle est très attachante. Le fait que le procès ne prenne pas autant de place que ce à quoi je m’attendais ne m’a pas dérangé.

Le roman s’inspire d’une histoire vraie et n’est pas sans rappeler La vague de Todd Strasser que j’avais lu quand j’étais adolescente et qui m’avait profondément marqué. C’est également le cas pour celui-ci. Il permet au lecteur de se poser des questions, de s’intéresser à ce qu’il aurait fait à la place des différents personnages… Des mois après, il me trotte encore dans la tête.

M.A. Kuzniar • Midnight in Everwood (2021)

Midnight in Everwood • M.A. Kuzniar • Octobre 2021 • HQ • 384 pages

There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms.

When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary.

But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.


Publié en septembre, Midnight in Everwood est la lecture parfaite pour la fin d’année. C’est la première fois que je lis une réécriture du conte de Casse-Noisette par l’auteur allemand, E.T.A. Hoffmann. Je ne pouvais que le lire. Cette histoire est un de mes contes préférés de Noël. Je le trouve absolument magique. Je suis une grande fan du ballet et de la musique de Tchaikovsky. J’adore également l’univers visuel qui en découle.

Malheureusement, cette lecture ne m’a pas autant transporté que je l’aurai aimé. La première raison tient au personnage principal, Marietta Stelle. Elle avait du potentiel. Elle vient d’un milieu favorisé, mais dans lequel elle étouffe. Elle ne pourra jamais vivre son rêve de devenir danseuse étoile. Le poids des convenances sociales de la fin du XIX siècle et début du XX siècle sont bien présentes. En effet, le contexte social et historique est largement développé et c’est un véritable point positif qui nous permet de mieux comprendre le personnage principal… Cependant, aucun lien ne se crée avec elle. Je n’ai ressenti aucune empathie pour elle. Quand elle arrive à Everwood, elle essaie de s’allier avec d’autres captives, mais son discours sonne faux. Elle peut également être énervante à la longue à ne jamais écouter les recommandations des autres.

Everwood est un monde qui est censé provoquer d’abord l’émerveillement avec l’hiver éternel, des maisons faites de sucrerie. Puis, progressivement, le lecteur découvre la réalité derrière cette façade enchanteresse et de perfection : un roi cruel et tyrannique, qui espionne tout le monde et qui a déjà provoqué la mort de plusieurs personnes… Pourtant, je n’ai pas ressenti de peur ou un sentiment de danger. J’attendais plus au niveau de l’ambiance, surtout concernant la partie autour d’Everwood. J’ai trouvé la première partie plus inquiétante, bizarrement. La deuxième souffre aussi de quelques longueurs.

En effet, avant que Marietta n’arrive dans le monde enchanté, il y a de petites pointes qui tendent vers des malaises entre elle et Drosselmeier, le fabricant de jouets. L’auteur en fait un personnage inquiétant, qui change des lectures habituelles de ce dernier ou dans la manière dont il est représenté, comme dans Casse-Noisette et les Quatre Royaumes. Il fait souvent office d’un homme d’un certain âge, charmant et bienveillant, un mentor. Dans Midnight in Everwood, il est totalement différent et je trouvais que c’était à la fois rafraîchissant et original. Il a un véritable potentiel de ce côté-là et il peut devenir un bon personnage inquiétant. Le malaise commençait à véritablement s’installer et à prendre de l’ampleur quand il a été coupé court quand Marietta a été propulsée dans un nouveau monde. J’ai été plus que déçue, car le livre prenait un tournant que j’aimais beaucoup et que j’aurais aimé voir plus amplement développé.

Ce roman avait tout sur le papier pour me plaire : une réécriture du Casse-Noisette un peu plus adulte. Je signe tout de suite. J’en ressors plus que déçue, mais j’avais aussi d’énormes attentes concernant ce roman, qui n’a pas été aussi magique que je l’espérais.

Présentation de ma pile à lire pour Il était neuf fois Noël

Cette année, je participe au challenge Il était neuf fois Noël. Le chalet ouvre ses portes le 29 novembre, pour ne les refermer que le 2 janvier. La nouveauté de cette année, ce sont les semaines thématiques.

Du 29 novembre au 5 décembre : Les Noëls du monde

Du 6 au 12 décembre : Si Noël m’était conté

Du 13 au 19 décembre : Noëls mystérieux

Du 20 au 26 décembre : La magie de Noël

Du 27 décembre au 2 janvier : Noëls blancs

Les organisatrices proposent également tout un programme, qui peut être trouvé ici, par exemple. Aujourd’hui, je présente donc ma pile à lire pour le challenge. Ce sont des livres que j’espère pouvoir lire et présenter durant le mois.

Ma PAL

Pauvre Andy Warner. L’ex-star contestataire des morts-vivants a passé une année entière soumis à des tests expérimentaux dans un laboratoire de recherches sur les zombies dans l’Oregon. Heureusement, un miracle se produit : à quelques jours de Noël, il parvient à s’échapper et fausse compagnie à ses poursuivants en enfilant un costume de Santa Claus. Le déguisement parfait… À deux réserves près : des collègues de décomposition le reconnaissent et exigent de lui qu’il soit leur chef ; et une adorable fillette solitaire le suit partout, convaincue qu’il est vraiment le père Noël… Une comédie horriblement délicieuse à lire sous le sapin.

There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms. When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn.

Un Noël à la campagne dans le Gloucestershire. La perspective est séduisante pour un groupe de jeunes mondains, un peu las de la routine londonienne, qui décident de séjourner à proximité du domaine de Lady Bobbin et de ses enfants.

Multipliant péripéties invraisemblables et dialogues mordants, Nancy Mitford dresse un portrait décalé de la société anglaise dans les années 1930.

Habituellement, Basile, neuf ans, rentre de l’école avec son père ou un autre parent d’élève. Mais ce jour-là est un peu particulier… Ce jour-là, la maîtresse a reçu un coup de téléphone qui l’a forcée à abandonner sa classe plus tôt que prévu. Ce jour-là, le petit garçon a décidé que rentrer à pied pour aller voir les décorations de Noël était une bonne idée. Ce jour-là… c’est le jour où Basile va faire la connaissance d’un jeune homme d’apparence sympathique, et accepter sans le savoir de conduire un agresseur à sa victime…

Aux Galeries Hartmann, les Féeries sont le plus gros événement de l’année. Alors quand sept jours avant leur lancement, le nouveau directeur exige que la décoration de Noël soit intégralement refaite, le sang d’Agathe ne fait qu’un tour : personne ne touchera à son travail, et surtout pas cet arriviste arrogant. Mais le grand magasin est désormais sous la responsabilité d’Alexandre Hartmann, et aussi talentueuse que soit Agathe Murano, c’est avec lui qu’elle devra traiter. Lui et personne d’autre. Ces deux-là auraient préféré ne jamais se rencontrer, mais puisqu’un père Noël et son chat magique viennent d’être embauchés pour exaucer les souhaits, pourquoi ne pas en profiter pour s’amuser ? Mais aux dépens de l’un comme de l’autre, bien sûr…

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.

But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy—Jacob Greenberg.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently… Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

Lors d’une terrible nuit d’hiver, la petite ville de Coventry fut frappée par une tempête de neige d’une rare violence, qui fit de nombreuses victimes et disparus, laissant une marque indélébile sur l’esprit des survivants. Douze ans après, alors que la vie a repris son cours à Coventry, se produit une série d’événements étranges : les disparus de cette fameuse nuit maudite semblent être de retour… et une nouvelle tempête s’annonce, cette fois-ci prête à tout dévaster sur son passage.

Jack, dix-sept ans, part à la conquête du Grand Nord pour devenir chercheur d’or. Plus intéressé par l’aventure que par la richesse, il espère se mesurer aux rigueurs du climat et affronter la nature sauvage. Mais Jack est loin de s’attendre aux obstacles qui se dresseront sur sa route: des bandits sans scrupules, prêts à tout pour faire fortune, et surtout des créatures redoutables qui incarnent ce que l’homme abrite de plus sombre en son coeur. Son animal-totem, le loup, l’aidera à traverser les épreuves… pourvu que Jack reste en vie.

Quand Mariah Ellison reçoit en guise de cadeau de Noël un boulet de canon sur le pas de sa porte, elle se rappelle un meurtre, survenu il y a vingt ans, qui a brisé l’une de ses plus fortes amitiés. Comprenant que cette vieille affaire refait surface, elle se rend dans le Surrey dans l’espoir de se réconcilier avec son amie et de résoudre enfin le crime qui les a séparées.

Sorties VO • Novembre 2021

Nouveau mois, nouvelles sorties VO… Encore des secrets de famille, des lectures fantastiques et de l’historique…

The Haunting of Leigh Harker • Darcy Coates • Poisoned Pen Press • 1 novembre • 272 pages

Sometimes the dead reach back…

Leigh Harker’s quiet suburban home was her sanctuary for more than a decade, until things abruptly changed. Curtains open by themselves. Radios turn off and on. And a dark figure looms in the shadows of her bedroom door at night, watching her, waiting for her to finally let down her guard enough to fall asleep.

Pushed to her limits but unwilling to abandon her home, Leigh struggles to find answers. But each step forces her towards something more terrifying than she ever imagined.

A poisonous shadow seeps from the locked door beneath the stairs. The handle rattles through the night and fingernails scratch at the wood. Her home harbours dangerous secrets, and now that Leigh is trapped within its walls, she fears she may never escape.

Do you think you’re safe?

You’re wrong.

Parting the veil • Paulette Kennedy • Lake Union Publishing • 1 novembre • 368 pages

Some houses hold secrets that are meant to be kept forever…

When Eliza Sullivan inherits an estate from a recently deceased aunt, she leaves behind a grievous and guilt-ridden past in New Orleans for rural England and a fresh start. Eliza arrives at her new home and finds herself falling for the mysterious lord of Havenwood, Malcolm Winfield. Despite the sinister rumors that surround him, Eliza is drawn to his melancholy charm and his crumbling, once-beautiful mansion. With enough love, she thinks, both man and manor could be repaired.

Not long into their marriage, Eliza fears that she should have listened to the locals. There’s something terribly wrong at Havenwood Manor: Forbidden rooms. Ghostly whispers in the shadows. Strangely guarded servants. And Malcolm’s threatening moods, as changeable as night and day.

As Eliza delves deeper into Malcolm’s troubling history, the dark secrets she unearths gain a frightening power. Has she married a man or a monster? For Eliza, uncovering the truth will either save her or destroy her. 

The London House • Katherine Reay • Harper Muse • 2 novembre • 368 pages

Caroline Payne thinks it’s just another day of work until she receives a call from Mat Hammond, an old college friend and historian. But pleasantries are cut short. Mat has uncovered a scandalous secret kept buried for decades: In World War II, Caroline’s British great-aunt betrayed family and country to marry her German lover.

Determined to find answers and save her family’s reputation, Caroline flies to her family’s ancestral home in London. She and Mat discover diaries and letters that reveal her grandmother and great-aunt were known as the “Waite sisters.” Popular and witty, they came of age during the interwar years, a time of peace and luxury filled with dances, jazz clubs, and romance. The buoyant tone of the correspondence soon yields to sadder revelations as the sisters grow apart, and one leaves home for the glittering fashion scene of Paris, despite rumblings of a coming world war.

Each letter brings more questions. Was Caroline’s great-aunt actually a traitor and Nazi collaborator, or is there a more complex truth buried in the past? Together, Caroline and Mat uncover stories of spies and secrets, love and heartbreak, and the events of one fateful evening in 1941 that changed everything.

Seven dirty secrets • Nathalie D. Richards • Sourcebooks Fire • 320 pages

I know seven secrets:
One caused the fall. One did nothing. One saw it all.
One didn’t care. One used their head. One played the hero.
One was left for dead.

On her eighteenth birthday, Cleo receives a mysterious invitation to a scavenger hunt. She’s sure her best friend Hope or her brother Connor is behind it, but no one confesses. And as Cleo and Hope embark on the hunt, the seemingly random locations and clues begin to feel familiar.

In fact, all of the clues seem to be about Cleo’s dead boyfriend, Cyrus, who drowned on a group rafting trip exactly a year ago. A bracelet she bought him. A song he loved. A photo of the rafting group, taken just before Cyrus drowned. And then the phone calls start, Cyrus’s voice taunting Cleo with a cryptic question: You ready?

As the clock on the scavenger hunt ticks down, it becomes clear that someone knows what really happened to Cyrus. And that person will stop at nothing to make sure Cleo and her friends pay. Can they solve the hunt before someone else winds up dead?

Watching Darkness Fall: FDR, His Ambassadors, and the Rise of Adolf Hitler • David McKean • Saint Martin’s Press • 2 novembre • 416 pages

As German tanks rolled toward Paris in late May 1940, the U.S. Ambassador to France, William Bullitt, was determined to stay put, holed up in the Chateau St. Firmin in Chantilly, his country residence. Bullitt told the president that he would neither evacuate the embassy nor his chateau, an eighteenth Renaissance manse with a wine cellar of over 18,000 bottles, even though “we have only two revolvers in this entire mission with only forty bullets.”

As German forces closed in on the French capital, Bullitt wrote the president, “In case I should get blown up before I see you again, I want you to know that it has been marvelous to work for you.” As the fighting raged in France, across the English Channel, Ambassador to Great Britain Joseph P. Kennedy wrote to his wife Rose, “The situation is more than critical. It means a terrible finish for the allies.”

Watching Darkness Fall will recount the rise of the Third Reich in Germany and the road to war from the perspective of four American diplomats in Europe who witnessed it firsthand: Joseph Kennedy, William Dodd, Breckinridge Long, and William Bullitt, who all served in key Western European capitals―London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Moscow―in the years prior to World War II. In many ways they were America’s first line of defense and they often communicated with the president directly, as Roosevelt’s eyes and ears on the ground. Unfortunately, most of them underestimated the power and resolve of Adolf Hitler and Germany’s Third Reich.

The Churchill Sisters: The Extraordinary Lives of Winston and Clementine’s Daughters • Rachel Trethewey • Saint Martin’s Press • 23 novembre • 320 pages

Bright, attractive and well-connected, in any other family the Churchill girls – Diana, Sarah, Marigold and Mary – would have shone. But they were not in another family, they were Churchills, and neither they nor anyone else could ever forget it. From their father – ‘the greatest Englishman’ – to their brother, golden boy Randolph, to their eccentric and exciting cousins, the Mitford Girls, they were surrounded by a clan of larger-than-life characters which often saw them overlooked. While Marigold died too young to achieve her potential, the other daughters lived lives full of passion, drama and tragedy.

Diana, intense and diffident; Sarah, glamorous and stubborn; Mary, dependable yet determined – each so different but each imbued with a sense of responsibility toward each other and their country. Far from being cosseted debutantes, these women were eyewitnesses at some of the most important events in world history, at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. Yet this is not a story set on the battlefields or in Parliament; it is an intimate saga that sheds light on the complex dynamics of family set against the backdrop of a tumultuous century.

Gilded • Marissa Meyer • Faber & Faber • 2 novembre • 512 pages

Cursed by the god of lies, a miller’s daughter has developed a talent for storytelling – but are all of her tales as false as they appear?

When one of Serilda’s stories draws the attention of the devastating Erlking, she finds herself swept away into a world of enchantment, where ghouls prowl the earth, and ravens track her every move. The king locks Serilda in a castle dungeon and orders her to spin straw into gold, or be killed for lying. In despair, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious young man to her aid. And he agrees to help her, for a price. But love wasn’t meant to be part of the bargain.

All of us villain • Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman • Tor Teen • 4 novembre • 400 pages

After the publication of a salacious tell-all book, the remote city of Ilvernath is thrust into worldwide spotlight. Tourists, protesters, and reporters flock to its spellshops and ruins to witness an ancient curse unfold: every generation, seven families name a champion among them to compete in a tournament to the death. The winner awards their family exclusive control over the city’s high magick supply, the most powerful resource in the world.

In the past, the villainous Lowes have won nearly every tournament, and their champion is prepared to continue his family’s reign. But this year, thanks to the influence of their newfound notoriety, each of the champions has a means to win. Or better yet–a chance to rewrite their story.

But this is a story that must be penned in blood.

Sorties VO • Octobre 2021

The Lighthouse Witches • C.J. Cooke • Berkley Books • 368 pages • 1 octobre

When single mother Liv is commissioned to paint a mural in a 100-year-old lighthouse on a remote Scottish island, it’s an opportunity to start over with her three daughters–Luna, Sapphire, and Clover. When two of her daughters go missing, she’s frantic. She learns that the cave beneath the lighthouse was once a prison for women accused of witchcraft. The locals warn her about wildlings, supernatural beings who mimic human children, created by witches for revenge. Liv is told wildlings are dangerous and must be killed.

Twenty-two years later, Luna has been searching for her missing sisters and mother. When she receives a call about her youngest sister, Clover, she’s initially ecstatic. Clover is the sister she remembers–except she’s still seven years old, the age she was when she vanished. Luna is worried Clover is a wildling. Luna has few memories of her time on the island, but she’ll have to return to find the truth of what happened to her family. But she doesn’t realize just how much the truth will change her.

The First Christmas • Stephen Mitchell • St Martin’s Essential • 224 pages • 12 octobre

In The First Christmas, Stephen Mitchell brings the Nativity story to vivid life as never before. A narrative that is only sketched out in two Gospels becomes fully realized here with nuanced characters and a setting that reflects the culture of the time. Mitchell has suffused the birth of Jesus with a sense of beauty that will delight and astonish readers.

In this version, we see the world through the eyes of a Whitmanesque ox and a visionary donkey, starry-eyed shepherds and Zen-like wise men, each of them providing a unique perspective on a scene that is, in Western culture, the central symbol for good tidings of great joy. Rather than superimposing later Christian concepts onto the Annunciation and Nativity scenes, he imagines Mary and Joseph experiencing the angelic message as a young Jewish woman and man living in the year 4 bce might have experienced it, with terror, dismay, and ultimate acceptance. In this context, their yes becomes an act of great moral courage.

Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom • Jerry Borrowman • Shadow Mountain • 208 pages • 5 octobre

The struggle to combat the Nazis during World War II encompassed front lines far beyond conventional battlefields. In a panoramic and compelling account, author Jerry Borrowman shares seven largely untold stories of people who undertook extraordinary efforts to defeat the Third Reich at enormous personal risk.

Some were soldiers like the Ghost Army, an eclectic group of former artists, actors, and engineers who engaged in top-secret tactical deceptions by staging ingenious decoy armies. Using inflatable tanks, radio transmissions, and sound effects, they were able to trick the Germans throughout the course of the war, often working close to the front lines of the fiercest fighting.

Some were ordinary citizens like William Sebold, a German immigrant and US citizen, who could have been a deadly foe, but instead chose the Allied cause. When he was coerced by the Gestapo into becoming a spy in America, he instead approached the FBI and offered to become a double agent. His efforts successfully helped bring down a dangerous German spy network that was dedicated to stealing industrial and wartime secrets and sabotaging America on home soil.

These dramatic and inspiring personal stories shed light on some of the darkest days of World War II and one of the most perilous times in human history. As the Nazis swept through Europe, citizens around the world faced an individual and national complex moral question: How do you respond to the tyranny and bloodthirsty madness of the Nazis? These are stories of ordinary men and women who would not surrender or compromise. They resisted and fought with total commitment for freedom and democracy despite the personal cost. 

Medusa • Jessie Burton • Bloomsbury • 224 pages • 28 octobre

Exiled to a far-flung island by the whims of the gods, Medusa has little company except the snakes that adorn her head instead of hair. But when a charmed, beautiful boy called Perseus arrives on the island, her lonely existence is disrupted with the force of a supernova, unleashing desire, love, betrayal and destiny itself.

Filled with glorious full-colour illustrations by award-winning Olivia Lomenech Gill, this astonishing retelling of Greek myth is perfect for readers of Circe and The Silence of the Girls. Illuminating the girl behind the legend, it brings alive Medusa for a new generation. 

Midnight in Everwood • M.A. Kuzniar • HQ • 384 pages • 28 octobre

There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms.

When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary.

But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.

The Grimrose Girl • Laura Pohl • Sourcebooks Fire • 384 pages • 26 octobre

After the mysterious death of their best friend, Ella, Yuki, and Rory are the talk of their elite school, Grimrose Académie. The police ruled it a suicide, but the trio are determined to find out what really happened.

When Nani Eszes arrives as their newest roommate, it sets into motion a series of events they couldn’t have imagined. As the girls retrace their friend’s last steps, they uncover dark secrets about themselves and their destinies, discovering they’re all cursed to repeat the brutal and gruesome endings to their stories until they can break the cycle.

This contemporary take on classic fairytales reimagines heroines as friends attending the same school. While investigating the murder of their best friend, they uncover connections to their ancient fairytale curses and attempt to forge their own fate before it’s too late.

The City Beautiful • Aden Polydoros • Inkyard Press • 480 pages • 5 octobre

Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he’ll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania.
 
But when Alter’s best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World’s Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov’s dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows.
 
Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter’s body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer—before the killer claims them next.

Little Thieves • Margaret Owen • Henry Holt & Company • 512 pages • 29 octobre

Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love–and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.

The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.

Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.

The Death of Jane Lawrence • Caitlin Starling • St Martin’s Press • 368 pages • 5 octobre

Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town. Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him.

By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to. Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.

Nothing but blackened teeth • Cassandra Khaw • Nightfire • 128 pages • 19 octobre

A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company.

It’s the perfect wedding venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends.

But a night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare. For lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart.

And she gets lonely down there in the dirt.

Sorties VO • Juin 2021

The Godmothers • Camille Aubray • William Morrow • 15 juin • 432 pages

Filomena is a clever and resourceful war refugee with a childhood secret, who comes to America to wed Mario, the family’s favored son. Amie, a beautiful and dreamy French girl from upstate New York, escapes an abusive husband after falling in love with Johnny, the oldest of the brothers. Lucy, a tough-as-nails Irish nurse, ran away from a strict girls’ home and marries Frankie, the sensuous middle son. And the glamorous Petrina, the family’s only daughter, graduates with honors from Barnard College despite a past trauma that nearly caused a family scandal.

All four women become godmothers to one another’s children, finding hope and shelter in this prosperous family and their sumptuous Greenwich Village home, and enjoying New York life with its fine dining, opulent department stores and sophisticated nightclubs.

But the women’s secret pasts lead to unforeseen consequences and betrayals that threaten to unravel all their carefully laid plans. And when their husbands are forced to leave them during the second World War, the Godmothers must unexpectedly contend with notorious gangsters like Frank Costello and Lucky Luciano who run the streets of New York City.

Refusing to merely imitate the world of men, the four Godmothers learn to put aside their differences and grudges so that they can work together to protect their loved ones, and to find their own unique paths to success, love, forgiveness, and the futures they’ve always dreamed of.

Sisters of the Resistance • Christine Wells • William Morrow • 8 juin • 416 pages

France, 1944: The Nazis still occupy Paris, and twenty-five-year-old Gabby Foucher hates these enemies, though, as the concierge of ten rue Royale, she makes it a point to avoid trouble, unlike her sister Yvette. Until she, like her sister, is recruited into the Resistance by Catherine Dior—sister of the fashion designer, Christian Dior.

Gabby and Yvette are both swept into the world of spies, fugitives, and Resistance workers, and it doesn’t take long for the sisters to realize that their lives are in danger.

Gabby discovers an elderly tenant is hiding a wounded British fugitive, and Yvette becomes a messenger for the Resistance. But as Gabby begins to fall in love with her patient and Yvette’s impulsiveness lead her into intrigue at an ever-higher level, both women will discover that their hearts and even their souls hang in the balance as well.

The Wolf & the Woodsman • Ava Reid • Del Rey • 8 juin • 448 pages

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman—he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.

Daughter of Sparta • Claire M. Andrews • Jimmy Paterson Book • 8 juin • 400 pages

Seventeen-year-old Daphne has spent her entire life honing her body and mind into that of a warrior, hoping to be accepted by the unyielding people of ancient Sparta. But an unexpected encounter with the goddess Artemis—who holds Daphne’s brother’s fate in her hands—upends the life she’s worked so hard to build. Nine mysterious items have been stolen from Mount Olympus and if Daphne cannot find them, the gods’ waning powers will fade away, the mortal world will descend into chaos, and her brother’s life will be forfeit.

Guided by Artemis’s twin-the handsome and entirely-too-self-assured god Apollo-Daphne’s journey will take her from the labyrinth of the Minotaur to the riddle-spinning Sphinx of Thebes, team her up with mythological legends such as Theseus and Hippolyta of the Amazons, and pit her against the gods themselves.

Nature of Witches • Rachel Griffin • Sourcebooks Fire • 1 juin • 362 pages

For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.

In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.

In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.

In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.

In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.

For the Wolf • Hannah F. Whitten • Orbit Books • 15 juin • 448 pages

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.

The Maidens • Alex Michaelides • Celadon Books • 15 juin • 352 pages

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens. 

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge. 

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.

Pourquoi lire Christina Henry ?

Parmi les auteurs largement présents dans ma bibliothèque, il y a Christina Henry. Sa bibliographie se compose majoritairement d’une série bit-lit et d’autres ouvrages plus orientés vers l’horreur avec notamment des réécritures de contes comme base de départ. C’est sur cet aspect que je la connais le plus et que je l’adore, attendant avec impatience chacune de ses nouvelles publications. En 2020, elle m’a régalé avec pas moins de deux parutions : un recueil de nouvelles autour de l’univers d’Alice au pays des Merveilles et un roman d’horreur, The Ghost Tree. Voici quelques bonnes raisons de se pencher sur ses romans.

Des réécritures de contes

Personnellement, c’est un genre littéraire que j’adore, car il permet de revisiter des histoires connues sous des angles parfois très différents ou avec des univers multiples. Je pense aussi à Marissa Meyer qui a réécrit certains contes dans un univers futuristes. Christina Henry s’est inspiré d’un certain nombre d’entre eux. Elle a proposé un monde post-apocalyptique pour The Girl in Red qui reprend l’histoire du Petit Chaperon rouge. The Mermaids se passe dans notre monde, mais dans le passé. Elle fait revivre P.T. Barnum, les cirques de curiosités… Lost Boy se déroule au Pays Imaginaire. Dans sa bibliographie, il y a juste The Ghost Tree, son dernier roman, qui n’est pas une réécriture de contes, mais tout de même un très bon roman d’horreur.

Des atmosphères creepy

C’est un peu la spécialité de l’auteur. Elle excelle dans des ambiances très sombres et torturés. Parmi ses romans, certains sont vraiment très dérangeants et « malaisants ». Pour ma part, celui qui remporte le premier prix est Lost Boy. Elle adopte un point de vue sur cette histoire qui est vraiment gênant, mais qui colle parfaitement à l’univers aussi. L’histoire de base contient aussi des éléments déstabilisants que Christina Henry exploite. Elle y ajoute aussi des thèmes contemporains et pas faciles : le viol, la drogue, la prostitution, les abus affectifs…

Christina Henry crée en quelques phrases un univers complet et une intrigue prenante, impossible à mettre de côté. Ce sont des histoires avec beaucoup de rythme, de tension, avec de nombreuses révélations et rebondissements. Tout est maîtrisé, et je ne suis jamais déçue par l’une ou l’autre de mes lectures. Elle doit sortir un nouveau roman en 2021 chez Titan Books, Near the Bones. Il ne me rappelle aucun conte, mais ce sera un autre roman horreur.

Liste des romans de Christina Henry que j’ai lu

  • The Mermaid, inspiré de La Petite Sirène
  • The Girl in Red, inspiré du Petit Chaperon rouge
  • Lost Boy, inspiré de Peter Pan
  • Alice, Red Queen et Looking Glass, inspirés d’Alice au pays des Merveilles
  • The Ghost Tree

Quels sont les plus « creepy » ?

  • Alice
  • Lost Boy

Lequel est le plus soft ?

  • The Mermaid