Sorties VO • Septembre 2021

Seven visitations of Sydney Burgess • Andy Marino • RedHook • 28 septembre • 304 pages

Sydney’s spent years burying her past and building a better life for herself and her eleven-year old son. A respectable marketing job, a house with reclaimed and sustainable furniture, and a boyfriend who loves her son and accepts her, flaws and all. But when she opens her front door, and a masked intruder knocks her briefly unconscious, everything begins to unravel. 

She wakes in the hospital and tells a harrowing story of escape. Of dashing out a broken window. Of running into her neighbors’ yard and calling the police. What the cops tell her is that she can no longer trust her memories. Because they say that not only is the intruder lying dead in her guest room, but he’s been murdered in a way that seems intimately personal. 

When she returns home, Sydney can’t shake the deep darkness that hides in every corner. There’s an unnatural whisper in her ear, urging her back to old addictions. And as her memories slowly return, she begins to fear that her new life was never built on solid ground-and that the secrets buried beneath will change everything. 

These toxic things • Rachel Howzell Hall • Thomas & Mercer • 1 septembre • 415 pages

Mickie Lambert creates “digital scrapbooks” for clients, ensuring that precious souvenirs aren’t forgotten or lost. When her latest client, Nadia Denham, a curio shop owner, dies from an apparent suicide, Mickie honors the old woman’s last wish and begins curating her peculiar objets d’art. A music box, a hair clip, a key chain―twelve mementos in all that must have meant so much to Nadia, who collected them on her flea market scavenges across the country.

But these tokens mean a lot to someone else, too. Mickie has been receiving threatening messages to leave Nadia’s past alone.

It’s becoming a mystery Mickie is driven to solve. Who once owned these odd treasures? How did Nadia really come to possess them? Discovering the truth means crossing paths with a long-dormant serial killer and navigating the secrets of a sinister past. One that might, Mickie fears, be inescapably entwined with her own.

The slow march of light • Heather B. Moore • Shadow Mountain • 7 septembre • 368 pages

In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Aware of the many whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help East Germans escape across the Berlin Wall and into the West.

Bob Inama, a soldier in the US Army, is stationed in West Germany. He’s glad to be fluent in German, especially after meeting Luisa Voigt at a church social. As they spend time together, they form a close connection. But when Bob receives classified orders to leave for undercover work immediately, he doesn’t get the chance to say goodbye.

With a fake identity, Bob’s special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany, identifying possible targets for the US military. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere, and the danger of being caught and sent to a brutal East German prison lurks on every corner.

The Collector’s Daughter • Gill Paul • William Morrow • 7 septembre • 384 pages

Lady Evelyn Herbert was the daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon, brought up in stunning Highclere Castle. Popular and pretty, she seemed destined for a prestigious marriage, but she had other ideas. Instead, she left behind the world of society balls and chaperones to travel to the Egyptian desert, where she hoped to become a lady archaeologist, working alongside her father and Howard Carter in the hunt for an undisturbed tomb.

In November 1922, their dreams came true when they discovered the burial place of Tutankhamun, packed full of gold and unimaginable riches, and she was the first person to crawl inside for three thousand years. She called it the “greatest moment” of her life—but soon afterwards everything changed, with a string of tragedies that left her world a darker, sadder place.

Newspapers claimed it was “the curse of Tutankhamun,” but Howard Carter said no rational person would entertain such nonsense. Yet fifty years later, when an Egyptian academic came asking questions about what really happened in the tomb, it unleashed a new chain of events that seemed to threaten the happiness Eve had finally found.

The Matzah Ball • Jean Meltzer • MIRA • 28 septembre • 416 pages

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.

Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah—and Jacob—in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze.

The Corpse Queen • Heather Herrman • GP Putnam • 14 septembre • 320 pages

Soon after her best friend Kitty mysteriously dies, orphaned seventeen-year-old Molly Green is sent away to live with her « aunt. » With no relations that she knows of, Molly assumes she has been sold as free domestic labor for the price of an extra donation in the church orphanage’s coffers. Such a thing is not unheard of. There are only so many options for an unmarried girl in 1850s Philadelphia. Only, when Molly arrives, she discovers her aunt is very much real, exceedingly wealthy, and with secrets of her own. Secrets and wealth she intends to share–for a price.

Molly’s estranged aunt Ava, has built her empire by robbing graves and selling the corpses to medical students who need bodies to practice surgical procedures. And she wants Molly to help her procure the corpses. As Molly learns her aunt’s trade in the dead of night and explores the mansion by day, she is both horrified and deeply intrigued by the anatomy lessons held at the old church on her aunt’s property. Enigmatic Doctor LaSalle’s lessons are a heady mixture of knowledge and power and Molly has never wanted anything more than to join his male-only group of students. But the cost of inclusion is steep and with a murderer loose in the city, the pursuit of power and opportunity becomes a deadly dance. 

The Magicians • Colm Toibin • Scribner • 7 septembre • 512 pages

Colm Tóibín’s new novel opens in a provincial German city at the turn of the twentieth century, where the boy, Thomas Mann, grows up with a conservative father, bound by propriety, and a Brazilian mother, alluring and unpredictable. Young Mann hides his artistic aspirations from his father and his homosexual desires from everyone. He is infatuated with one of the richest, most cultured Jewish families in Munich, and marries the daughter Katia. They have six children. On a holiday in Italy, he longs for a boy he sees on a beach and writes the story Death in Venice. He is the most successful novelist of his time, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, a public man whose private life remains secret. He is expected to lead the condemnation of Hitler, whom he underestimates. His oldest daughter and son, leaders of Bohemianism and of the anti-Nazi movement, share lovers. He flees Germany for Switzerland, France and, ultimately, America, living first in Princeton and then in Los Angeles.

The Girl behind the wall • Mandy Robotham • Avon • 7 septembre • 416 pages

A city divided. When the Berlin Wall goes up, Karin is on the wrong side of the city. Overnight, she’s trapped under Soviet rule in unforgiving East Berlin and separated from her twin sister, Jutta.

Two sisters torn apart. Karin and Jutta lead parallel lives for years, cut off by the Wall. But Karin finds one reason to keep going: Otto, the man who gives her hope, even amidst the brutal East German regime.

One impossible choice… When Jutta finds a hidden way through the wall, the twins are reunited. But the Stasi have eyes everywhere, and soon Karin is faced with a terrible decision: to flee to the West and be with her sister, or sacrifice it all to follow her heart?

The last legacy • Adrienne Young • Wednesday Books • 7 septembre • 336 pages

When a letter from her uncle Henrik arrives on Bryn Roth’s eighteenth birthday, summoning her back to Bastian, Bryn is eager to prove herself and finally take her place in her long-lost family.

Henrik has plans for Bryn, but she must win everyone’s trust if she wants to hold any power in the delicate architecture of the family. It doesn’t take long for her to see that the Roths are entangled in shadows. Despite their growing influence in upscale Bastian, their hands are still in the kind of dirty business that got Bryn’s parents killed years ago. With a forbidden romance to contend with and dangerous work ahead, the cost of being accepted into the Roths may be more than Bryn can pay. 

All these bodies • Kendare Blake • Quill Tree Books • 16 septembre • 304 pages

Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere. 

September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale is found at the scene. She is covered in blood from head to toe, and at first she’s mistaken for a survivor. But not a drop of the blood is hers.

Michael Jensen, son of the local sheriff, yearns to become a journalist and escape his small-town. He never imagined that the biggest story in the country would fall into his lap, or that he would be pulled into the investigation, when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to. 

As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies? 

Summers Sons • Lee Mandelo • Tordotcom • 28 septembre • 384 pages

Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers for him. 

Cloud Cuckoo Land • Anthony Doerr • Scribner • 28 septembre • 640 pages

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.

Top 5 Wednesday • Debut Novels

Le thème de cette semaine met en avant le premier roman publié d’un auteur. Quels sont mes cinq préférés ? J’ai essayé de me le limiter à ceux lus depuis le début d’année.

The Lost Apothecary • Sarah Penner

Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.

Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

The lights of Prague • Nicole Jarvis

In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters – a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová– a widow with secrets of her own.

When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady – a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle – he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o’-the-wisp, a mischievous spirit known to lead lost travellers to their death, but who, once captured, are bound to serve the desires of their owners.

After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.

The lost village • Camilla Sten

Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has been obsessed with the vanishing residents of the old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village,” since she was a little girl. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and ever since, the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left—a woman stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned newborn—have plagued her. She’s gathered a small crew of friends in the remote village to make a film about what really happened.

But there will be no turning back.

Not long after they’ve set up camp, mysterious things begin to happen. Equipment is destroyed. People go missing. As doubt breeds fear and their very minds begin to crack, one thing becomes startlingly clear to Alice:

They are not alone. They’re looking for the truth… But what if it finds them first?

The Miniaturist • Jesse Burton

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office—leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

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The Year of the Witching • Alexis Henderson

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her. 

Molly Greeley • The Heiress, The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh

The Heiress, The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh • Molly Greeley • Janvier 2020 • William Morrow • 357 pages

As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.


Je continue ma découverte de livres s’inspirant de l’univers de Jane Austen. En décembre, je lisais The Jane Austen Society, en me promettant de lire les romans de cette auteur. La moitié de l’année est bien passée et je n’ai toujours pas ouvert l’un d’entre eux. Je reviens avec la chronique d’un livre qui se déroule dans l’univers de Pride & Prejudice, puisque Molly Greeley s’intéresse à un personnage tertiaire, Anne de Bourgh, la cousine de Fitzwilliam Darcy, qu’il aurait dû épouser.

Ne pas avoir lu le roman de Jane Austen n’est pas un problème. Il y a juste quelques éléments principaux de l’intrigue qui sont dévoilés. Cependant, c’est une histoire assez connue, donc pas de réels spoilers. La lecture a été plutôt en demi-teinte. En effet, le roman présente beaucoup de longueurs dès le début. À la rigueur, cela me paraissait être un choix parfait pour la première partie. L’histoire est racontée à la première personne et les premières pages sont racontées alors qu’Anne de Bourgh est sous l’emprise du laudanum, une drogue largement utilisée durant l’époque victorienne. Pour Anne, elle est traitée avec ce « médicament » depuis qu’elle est bébé. Toutefois, quand elle parvient enfin à s’en passer, je m’attendais à ce que le livre devienne un peu plus rythmée, dynamique, mais, malheureusement, le tout reste très lent. En tant que lectrice, j’ai bien eu souvent l’envie de secouer Anne.

C’est un aspect intéressant du livre que l’écriture suive l’état de santé du personnage principal. Cela permet de voir à quel point le laudanum avait une emprise sur Anne, à quel point il changeait sa personnalité. Il y a une véritable évolution de cette dernière. Elle sort de sa chrysalide après son sevrage, même si parfois trop doucement à mon goût. Le roman a un côté initiatique, aspect renforcé par le contexte historique de la saison londonienne où toutes les filles de bonne famille se retrouvaient pour trouver un mari. C’est souvent un rite de passage obligé à cette époque. L’aspect historique est bien développé.

Le fait que l’intrigue est issue de l’univers de Jane Austen devient presque anecdotique. Pendant de longs passages, j’oubliais presque que la base de l’oeuvre est Pride & Prejudice. C’est quand on croise Darcy et Elizabeth que je me rappelais qu’Anne de Bourgh est un personnage tertiaire de ce roman. Tout comme dans le roman de Jane Austen, les relations sociales et amoureuses, la pression faite aux jeunes femmes de trouver le meilleur parti est au coeur de l’intrigue. Molly Greeley évoque également les relations homosexuelles au sein de cette société conservatrice et c’est un point assez intéressant du roman. Par ailleurs, j’ai aussi beaucoup aimé les passages où la mère d’Anne évoque la maladie de sa famille. Ce sont des passages qui m’ont profondément révolté, mais c’est ce qui se faisait à l’époque.

The Heiress, The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh est un roman historique intéressant, mais qui souffre de nombreuses longueurs. Cependant, il m’a plu par d’autres aspects : le personnage principal attachant, la description du contexte historique. Le fait fait que l’auteur trouve son inspiration dans l’oeuvre de Jane Austen ne change pas grand chose à cette intrigue. Personnellement, je l’ai plus vu comme un détail anecdotique.

Sorties VO • Juillet 2021

The Final Girl Support Group • Grady Hendrix • Berkley Books • 13 juillet • 352 pages

In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?

Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For more than a decade she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized–someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.

But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.

For your own good • Samantha Downing • Berkley Books • 20 juillet • 320 pages

Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.

He says his wife couldn’t be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.

Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential.

All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way.

It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.

The forest of vanishing stars • Kristin Harmel • Gallery Books • 6 juillet • 384 pages

After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.

Half sick of shadows • Laura Sebastian • Ace • 6 juillet • 448 pages

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

The Ice Swan • J’Nell Ciesielski • Thomas Nelson • 6 juillet • 400 pages

1917, Petrograd. Fleeing the murderous flames of the Russian Revolution, Princess Svetlana Dalsky hopes to find safety in Paris with her mother and sister. But the city is buckling under the weight of the Great War, and the Bolsheviks will not rest until they have erased every Russian aristocrat from memory. Svetlana and her family are forced into hiding in Paris’s underbelly, with little to their name but the jewels they sewed into their corsets before their terrifying escape.

Born the second son of a Scottish duke, the only title Wynn MacCallan cares for is that of surgeon. Putting his talents with a scalpel to good use in the hospitals in Paris, Wynn pushes the boundaries of medical science to give his patients the best care possible. After treating Svetlana for a minor injury, he is pulled into a world of decaying imperial glitter. Intrigued by this mysterious, cold, and beautiful woman, Wynn follows Svetlana to an underground Russian club where drink, dance, and questionable dealings collide on bubbles of vodka.

Out of money and options, Svetlana agrees to a marriage of convenience with the handsome and brilliant Wynn, who will protect her and pay off her family’s debts. It’s the right thing for a good man to do, but Wynn cannot help but hope the marriage will turn into one of true affection. When Wynn’s life takes an unexpected turn, so does Svetlana’s—and soon Paris becomes as dangerous as Petrograd. And as the Bolsheviks chase them to Scotland and beyond, Wynn and Svetlana begin to wonder if they will ever be able to outrun the love they are beginning to feel for one another.

The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer • Dean Jobb • Algonquin Books • 13 juillet • 432 pages

“When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.” In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream poisoned at least ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedents. Structured around Cream’s London murder trial in 1892, when he was finally brought to justice, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream exposes the blind trust given to medical practitioners, as well as the flawed detection methods, bungled investigations, corrupt officials, and stifling morality of Victorian society that allowed Cream to prey on vulnerable and desperate women, many of whom had turned to him for medical help.

Dean Jobb vividly re-creates this largely forgotten historical account against the backdrop of the birth of modern policing and newly adopted forensic methods, though most police departments still scoffed at using science to solve crimes. But then most police departments could hardly imagine that serial killers existed—the term was unknown at the time. As the Chicago Tribune wrote then, Cream’s crimes marked the emergence of a new breed of killer, one who operated without motive or remorse, who “murdered simply for the sake of murder.”

The War Nurse • Tracey Enerson Wood • Sourcebooks Landmark • 6 juillet • 304 pages

Superintendent of Nurses Julia Stimson must recruit sixty-five nurses to relieve the battle-worn British, months before American troops are ready to be deployed. She knows that the young nurses serving near the front lines of will face a challenging situation, but nothing could have prepared her for the chaos that awaits when they arrive at British Base Hospital 12 in Rouen, France. The primitive conditions, a convoluted, ineffective system, and horrific battle wounds are enough to discourage the most hardened nurses, and Julia can do nothing but lead by example―even as the military doctors undermine her authority and make her question her very place in the hospital tent.

When trainloads of soldiers stricken by a mysterious respiratory illness arrive one after the other, overwhelming the hospital’s limited resources, and threatening the health of her staff, Julia faces an unthinkable choice―to step outside the bounds of her profession and risk the career she has fought so hard for, or to watch the people she cares for most die in her arms.

The Book of Accidents • Chuck Wending • Del Rey Books • 20 juillet • 544 pages

Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there.

Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have—and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.

Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.

Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver. And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.

This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family—and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another. 

Mandy Robotham • The Berlin Girl (2020)

The Berlin Girl • Mandy Robotham • 2020 • Avon • 400 pages

Berlin, 1938. It’s the height of summer, and Germany is on the brink of war. When fledgling reporter Georgie Young is posted to Berlin, alongside fellow Londoner Max Spender, she knows they are entering the eye of the storm.

Arriving to a city swathed in red flags and crawling with Nazis, Georgie feels helpless, witnessing innocent people being torn from their homes. As tensions rise, she realises she and Max have to act – even if it means putting their lives on the line.

But when she digs deeper, Georgie begins to uncover the unspeakable truth about Hitler’s Germany – and the pair are pulled into a world darker than she could ever have imagined…


The Berlin Girl est la dernière publication de Mandy Robotham. L’année dernière, j’avais beaucoup aimé The Secret Messenger, car, pour une fois, l’intrigue se déroule en Italie durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Ce nouveau roman est dans cette même lignée.

Le contexte historique est original également, et très intéressant. En effet, l’histoire commence quelques mois avant le début du conflit, en septembre 1939, et à Berlin. Le lecteur est au coeur de l’Histoire. Je ne me souviens pas d’avoir lu un roman se déroulant à ce moment précis, ce qui me fait dire qu’il s’agit d’un aspect plutôt original. Se rajoute une autre originalité qui tient au point de vue adopté. Mandy Robotham ne donne pas la parole à une résistante ou à un policier, mais à des journalistes anglais. Ce ne sont pas forcément le type de personnes que j’ai l’habitude de retrouver dans des romans autour de la Seconde Guerre mondiale et le sujet est parfaitement maîtrisé. Il m’a quelque peu fait penser au « roman documentaire » d’Erik Larson, Dans le jardin de la bête. Ce dernier évoque plus la diplomatie, à travers la famille de l’ambassadeur américain de l’époque, mais aussi leur relation avec la presse.

Je dois, toutefois, formuler le même reproche que pour The Secret Messenger. Il y a parfois des petits passages à vide vers le milieu de l’intrigue. Le rythme ralentit entre la mise en place des principaux éléments (les personnages et leurs relations, l’ambiance, le coeur de l’enquête) et le moment où le point central de l’histoire commence réellement. Mandy Robotham est une auteur qui aime prendre son temps pour construire le contexte et l’ambiance, les personnages, leurs caractères… Il est vrai que de ce point de vue, il n’y a rien à redire. J’ai l’impression de voir le Berlin à la veille de la Seconde Guerre mondiale prendre vie sous mes yeux. La fin donne l’impression d’être un peu précipité. Heureusement que les extraits de journaux adoucissent un peu la précipitation des événements. Cependant, je garde tout de même un très bon souvenir de ce livre. Les personnages sont terriblement attachants et on tremble avec eux.

George est typiquement le genre de personnages féminins dont j’apprécie de suivre les aventures. Elle a une certaine éthique, elle recherche la vérité et souhaite toujours la voir éclater au grand jour. Je comprends sa frustration que le monde ne semble pas se rendre compte du danger que les nazis représentent alors qu’elle en est le témoin privilégié. Elle fait preuve de beaucoup d’empathie. Elle sait se montrer forte et courageuse quand il le faut. Pour autant, elle montre aussi ses faiblesses et ses doutes. Elle n’est pas sans peur et sans reproche. Elle illustre parfaitement l’adage, « Si ce n’est pas moi, alors qui ?« . Tout comme Stella, dans The Secret Messenger, ce sont des personnages plutôt nuancés. Quant à son homologue masculin, Max, j’ai mis un peu plus de temps à l’apprécier, mais je me suis réellement attachée à lui au fur et à mesure.

Il y a toute une galerie de personnages secondaires tous plus terriblement attachants les uns que les autres, que ce soient les autres journalistes et reporters étrangers ou la famille de Ruben. Ils permettent d’évoquer d’autres thématiques comme l’absence de liberté d’expression, même pour la presse étrangère basée à Berlin qui doit s’aligner sur les communiqués officiels du Parti, au risque d’être expulsé. Il y a aussi ce que les familles juives doivent subir, la législation antisémite, le transport des enfants en Angleterre et l’espoir pour les parents de les rejoindre le plus vite possible. The Berlin Girl évoque une variété de sujets, mais je n’en dirai pas plus pour celui concernant le coeur de l’enquête de George et Max.

Deuxième roman de Mandy Robotham que je lis et, encore une fois, je ne suis pas passée très loin du coup de coeur. C’est toujours un plaisir de retrouver sa plume. J’ai encore A woman of war à découvrir et qui est présent dans ma bibliothèque. En septembre, elle devrait sortir un autre roman, The Girl behind the Wall. Cette fois-ci, il se déroule durant la Guerre froide, mais toujours à Berlin. Je pense que je serai au rendez-vous pour celui-ci également.

Top 5 Wednesday • Recent purchases

Thème : Recent purchases

Voilà un autre thème qui m’inspire pour ce mois-ci. La question posée est quels sont les cinq livres que j’ai récemment acheté et que je suis excitée à l’idée de lire ou que j’ai aimé. Ça tombe bien, car j’ai refait mon stock le mois dernier en allant dans mes librairies strasbourgeoises préférées et en passant dans plusieurs Emmaüs. Certains ont déjà été lus, mais j’ai surtout envie de parler de ceux qui ne le sont pas encore, mais qui me tentent énormément.

La famille Karnovski – Israel Joshua Singer

La famille Karnovski retrace le destin de trois générations d’une famille juive qui décide de quitter la Pologne pour s’installer en Allemagne à l’aube de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Comment Jegor, fils d’un père juif et d’une mère aryenne, trouvera-t-il sa place dans un monde où la montée du nazisme est imminente?

Publié en 1943 alors que les nazis massacrent les communautés juives en Europe, le roman d’Israël Joshua Singer est hanté par ces tragiques circonstances et par la volonté de démêler le destin complexe de son peuple.

En 2021, j’avais très envie de découvrir la littérature israélienne que je ne connais absolument pas. J’ouvre le bal avec cette saga familiale, adorant ce genre de récits en temps normal. Il me tarde de le lire et il ne restera pas très longtemps dans ma PAL.

Sistersong – Lucy Holland

535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador’s children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.

Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.
Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, when born a daughter.
And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.

Je l’avais déjà remarqué et il était présent dans un de mes articles sur les sorties VO. Cette histoire m’intrigue énormément et je suis totalement fan de cette couverture, de cette Bretagne magique et mythique. Je triche un peu, mais je suis déjà plongée dedans et j’en ai lu la moitié. Intriguant et, pour le moment, j’aime beaucoup.

Sumerki – Dmitry Glukhovsky

Quand Dmitry Alexeïevitch, traducteur désargenté, insiste auprès de son agence pour obtenir un nouveau contrat, il ne se doute pas que sa vie en sera bouleversée. Le traducteur en charge du premier chapitre ne donnant plus de nouvelles, c’est un étrange texte qui lui échoit : le récit d’une expédition dans les forêts inexplorées du Yucatán au XVIe siècle, armée par le prêtre franciscain Diego de Landa. Et les chapitres lui en sont remis au compte-gouttes par un mystérieux commanditaire. 

Aussi, quand l’employé de l’agence est sauvagement assassiné et que les périls relatés dans le document s’immiscent dans son quotidien, Dmitry Alexeïevitch prend peur. Dans les ombres du passé, les dieux et les démons mayas se sont-ils acharnés à protéger un savoir interdit ? A moins, bien entendu, que le manuscrit espagnol ne lui ait fait perdre la raison. Alors que le monde autour de lui est ravagé par des ouragans, des séismes et des tsunamis, le temps est compté pour découvrir la vérité.

Un auteur qui m’a largement été recommandé, surtout pour sa série Métro. Cependant, n’ayant pas envie de me lancer dans une nouvelle série alors que j’essaie d’en terminer un maximum, j’ai préféré choisir ce titre qui semble plus être un thriller ésotérique, ma marotte du moment.

Richard Oppenheimer, La vengeance des cendres – Harald Gilbers

Berlin, hiver 1946, le plus froid que la capitale ait connu au XXe siècle. La guerre est certes finie mais l’Allemagne commence à peine à panser ses plaies, et les Berlinois manquent de tout, surtout de nourriture. Dans cette atmosphère très tendue, des corps mutilés font mystérieusement surface aux quatre coins de la ville. Chacun a la peau couverte de mots écrits à l’encre, et une liste de noms inconnus fourrée dans la bouche. Le commissaire Oppenheimer est alors mobilisé pour mener l’enquête et découvre vite un point commun entre ces morts : ils avaient tous collaboré avec le régime nazi. À Oppenheimer de parvenir à retracer le passé du tueur, et à anticiper ses prochains meurtres.

Déjà le quatrième tome de cette série que j’aime beaucoup. Il me tardait de connaître la suite des aventures de Richard Oppenheimer. Le cinquième est sorti récemment en grand format.

La Sorcière – Jules Michelet

Michelet sait prêter sa voix aux parias du passé, à ceux qui n’ont pas eu d’histoire. À travers les siècles la femme tient-elle donc toujours le même rôle, celui de la mal aimée ? En embrassant d’un seul regard toute l’étendue du Moyen Âge, de la Renaissance et du Grand Siècle, Michelet discerne pour la première fois la suite rigoureuse d’une tragédie dont l’héroïne serait une femme à la fois révérée et persécutée : la sorcière.

La figure de la sorcière me fascine. J’avais adoré l’essai de Mona Chollet, Sorcières ! La puissance invaincue des femmes, que je recommande chaudement. J’avais très envie de découvrir celui de Michelet, qui date certes un peu, car il est publié pour la première fois en 1862, mais qui a fait autorité pendant longtemps. La recherche a depuis évolué sur le sujet.

Luke McCallin • Gregor Reinhard, L’Homme de Berlin (2013) ; La maison pâle (2014) et Les cendres de Berlin (2016)

Série Gregor Reinhard, L’homme de Berlin (2013) ; La maison pâle (2014) et Les cendres de Berlin (2016) • Folio Policier et Éditions Toucan

Sarajevo, 1943. Dans cette ville sous occupation de la Wehrmacht et des SS, une journaliste bosniaque est retrouvée sauvagement assassinée dans son appartement. Ainsi que l’homme qui l’accompagnait, un officier des services de renseignements allemand. L’affaire, sensible, est confiée à Gregor Reinhardt, jadis l’un des meilleurs détectives de la Kripo, la section criminelle de Berlin. Cet homme désabusé, hanté par une double tragédie familiale, devra se montrer à la hauteur de sa réputation. Et tenter de trouver la place qu’il reste à la responsabilité individuelle au cœur d’un système de crime de masse. 


Je recherchais une série proche de celle de Philip Kerr quand je suis tombée sur celle-ci. Il y avait quelques similarités, notamment du point de vue du personnage principal. Gregor Reinhard, tout comme Bernie Gunther, est un ancien commissaire de la police criminelle de Berlin, passé sous les drapeaux par obligation plus que par choix et conviction. Les points communs s’arrêtent là. La série a déjà trois tomes publiés en français et il en existe deux autres en anglais : Where God does not walk sur la jeunesse du personnage principal, notamment durant la Première Guerre mondiale et From a dark horizon. Ils ne sont pas encore sortis, mais elles sont prévues pour la fin de l’année.

À vrai dire, le seul reproche que je peux formuler à l’encontre ces trois premiers tomes est que l’intrigue manque parfois de rythme. C’est peut-être un peu moins vrai pour le dernier, Les cendres de Berlin, où il y a moins de passages à vide que dans les deux premiers livres, mais il y en a encore quelques-uns. Il peut ne rien se passer pendant quelques chapitres où l’enquête semble faire du surplace pour ensuite s’accélérer, retomber un peu et remettre un petit coup de fouet avant la fin. C’est très inégal et c’est dommage, car mon attention en pâtissait.

Cependant, la série m’a tout de même plu par d’autres aspects, le premier étant le contexte historique et géographique. En effet, bien souvent, les auteurs s’intéressent énormément au Royaume-Uni, à la France et, depuis quelque temps, à l’Italie durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Depuis un an ou deux, de nombreux romans historiques sur cette période se déroulent dans ce pays. Luke McCallin a été en poste dans les Balkans et c’est là-bas qu’il a décidé de planter son décor. Par rapport à ce que j’ai l’habitude de lire autour de cette période historique, c’est original. En tant que lectrice, j’ai vraiment ressenti que l’auteur a une réelle connaissance de Sarajevo, de son environnement et de son histoire. Ce sont des romans très bien documentés. Néanmoins, j’ai été perdue de temps à autre dans ses explications, car il est très pointu. C’est aussi intéressant et j’ai appris énormément avec les deux premiers tomes, et l’ambiance de dangers, tensions est très bien transcrite.

Le troisième tome se déroule à Berlin, peu de temps après la fin de la guerre. Changement de décor et je n’ai pas été trop perdue, car des enquêtes se déroulant dans les décombres de la capitale allemande, c’est assez récurrent et donc, un peu moins original. En effet, un des ouvrages de Philip Kerr prend place également à ce moment, et chez Harald Gilbers également. Les cendres de Berlin est tout de même le tome que j’ai préféré, tout simplement parce que l’histoire a moins de coup de mou. J’ai eu moins de passage un peu ennuyeux durant cette lecture, même si l’enquête est un peu plus classique que dans les deux premiers livres.

Par ailleurs, le personnage principal, Gregor Reinhard, est intéressant, avec autant de défauts que de qualités. Il montre des faiblesses, fait preuve de doutes. L’intrigue autour de son fils le rend sympathique. Il possède un grand sens moral, toujours à la recherche de la vérité. C’est également un point que j’ai apprécié et ce pour les trois tomes : ils ont souvent une fin douce-amère dans la mesure où les auteurs des crimes ne comparaissent que rarement devant la justice. Mais cela colle parfaitement à cette période historique troublée.

Aucun des trois livres n’est un réel coup de coeur, mais clairement, Luke McCallin signe ici une série policière et historique de grande qualité et largement documentée. Je serai au rendez-vous pour les prochains tomes.

Top 5 Wednesday #2 • Backlist Book

Thème : Backlist Book

Le premier thème du mois de juin concerne les livres qui ont été publiés il y a un ou plus, mais qui n’ont pas encore été lu et/ou achetés. Voici mes cinq livres prioritaires en ce moment.

Les thèmes du mois peuvent être trouvés ici.


1. The Poppy & the Rose – Ashlee Cowles

1912: Ava Knight, a teen heiress, boards the Titanic to escape the shadow of her unstable mother and to fulfill her dream of becoming a photographer in New York. During the journey she meets three people who will change her life: a handsome sailor, a soldier in the secret Black Hand society that will trigger World War I, and a woman with clairvoyant abilities. When disaster strikes the ship, family betrayals come to light.

2010: When Taylor Romano arrives in Oxford for a summer journalism program, something feels off. Not only is she greeted by a young, Rolls Royce-driving chauffeur, but he invites her to tea with Lady Mae Knight of Meadowbrook Manor, an old house with a cursed history going back to the days of Henry VIII. Lady Knight seems to know a strange amount about Taylor and her family problems, but before Taylor can learn more, the elderly woman dies, leaving as the only clue an old diary. With the help of the diary, a brooding chauffeur, and some historical sleuthing, Taylor must uncover the link between Ava’s past and her own….

Je suis une grande lectrice de romans historiques. Celui-ci me tente énormément, car il est plutôt rare que je lise autour du Titanic, pourtant un événement qui m’intéresse.

2. Mercy House – Alena Dillon

In the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn stands a century-old row house presided over by renegade, silver-haired Sister Evelyn. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, Evelyn and her fellow sisters makes Mercy House a safe haven for the abused and abandoned.

Women like Lucia, who arrives in the dead of night; Mei-Li, the Chinese and Russian house veteran; Desiree, a loud and proud prostitute; Esther, a Haitian immigrant and aspiring collegiate; and Katrina, knitter of lumpy scarves… all of them know what it’s like to be broken by men.

Little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Bishop Robert Hawkins is coming to investigate Mercy House and the nuns, whose secret efforts to help the women in ways forbidden by the Church may be uncovered. But Evelyn has secrets too, dark enough to threaten everything she has built.

Evelyn will do anything to protect Mercy House and the vibrant, diverse women it serves—confront gang members, challenge her beliefs, even face her past. As she fights to defend all that she loves, she discovers the extraordinary power of mercy and the grace it grants, not just to those who receive it, but to those strong enough to bestow it.

J’aime les histoires où la maison, demeure… prend une place importante. À cela s’ajoute le destin de femmes hors du commun et que tout semble opposé pour sauver leur refuge. Je suis impatiente de pouvoir le découvrir.

3. Daughter of the Reich – Louise Fein

As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.

Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.

Il doit sortir prochainement en français. Le résumé m’a tout de suite plu, car il me rappelle les Mandy Robotham que j’aime beaucoup. Je l’avais déjà mis en avant dans un article sur les sorties en anglais qui me tentent énormément, il y a un an. Depuis, il traîne dans ma wish-list et il n’a toujours pas été acheté et lu. Sûrement un de mes prochains achats avec le prochain.

4. The Ratline – Philippe Sands

As Governor of Galicia, SS Brigadeführer Otto Freiherr von Wächter presided over an authority on whose territory hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed, including the family of the author’s grandfather. By the time the war ended in May 1945, he was indicted for ‘mass murder’. Hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the Poles and the British, as well as groups of Jews, Wächter went on the run. He spent three years hiding in the Austrian Alps, assisted by his wife Charlotte, before making his way to Rome where he was helped by a Vatican bishop. He remained there for three months. While preparing to travel to Argentina on the ‘ratline’ he died unexpectedly, in July 1949, a few days after spending a weekend with an ‘old comrade’.

In The Ratline Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a senior Nazi and fugitive, and of his wife. Drawing on a remarkable archive of family letters and diaries, he unveils a fascinating insight into life before and during the war, on the run, in Rome, and into the Cold War. Eventually the door is unlocked to a mystery that haunts Wächter’s youngest son, who continues to believe his father was a good man – what happened to Otto Wächter, and how did he die?

J’ai beaucoup aimé son premier essai, East West Street, sur le dévéloppement des notions de génocide, crimes contre l’humanité. Il retourne sur ce terrain fertile de la Seconde Guerre mondiale en parlant du réseau de fuite nazi. Je connais cet aspect du conflit, mais sans être réellement rentrée dans les détails. Cela fait un an qu’il est sorti et je ne l’ai toujours pas acheté, mais prochainement.

5. Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

Ce livre a beaucoup fait parler de lui et il m’intéresse énormément, car il parle de Shakespeare. Ce dernier a toujours été un de mes auteurs préférés. Il est sorti l’année dernière et il a été traduit récemment en français, aux éditions Belfond.

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.

Top 5 Wednesday #2 • Family Dynamics

Le thème de cette semaine m’inspire énormément. Le 15 mai a eu lieu la journée mondiale de la famille, d’où ce sujet pour ce mercredi. Il est pris dans un sens très large, car il est autant question des liens du sang que de la famille que l’on se crée. J’ai essayé, dans la mesure du possible, de piocher dans mes récentes lectures. La semaine dernière, sur le thème des « lieux communs », j’écrivais que j’aimais beaucoup les sagas familiales… Cet article est un peu la continuité de ce dernier.

Thème : Family dynamics

Among the leaving and the dead d’Inara Verzemnieks

Inara Verzemnieks was raised by her Latvian grandparents in Washington State, among expatriates who scattered smuggled Latvian sand over coffins, the children singing folk songs about a land none of them had visited. Her grandmother Livija’s stories vividly recreated the home she fled during the Second World War, when she was separated from her sister, Ausma, whom she wouldn’t see again for more than fifty years.

Journeying back to their remote village, Inara comes to know Ausma and her trauma as an exile to Siberia under Stalin, while reconstructing Livija’s survival through her years as a refugee. In uniting their stories, Inara honors both sisters in a haunting and luminous account of loss, survival, resilience, and love.

Cet ouvrage est un plus un essai autour de la famille, l’importance de cette dernière dans la construction d’un individu et de son histoire. L’auteur écrit à propos de sa grand-mère et de la soeur de cette dernière, de sa volonté de comprendre ses racines, leurs histoires. Il est dommage que parfois l’écriture poétique et lyrique de l’auteur prend trop le pas sur le sujet abordé, apportant des longueurs.

L’Assommoir d’Émile Zola

Qu’est-ce qui nous fascine dans la vie « simple et tranquille » de Gervaise Macquart ? Pourquoi le destin de cette petite blanchisseuse montée de Provence à Paris nous touche-t-il tant aujourd’hui encore? Que nous disent les exclus du quartier de la Goutte-d’Or version Second Empire? L’existence douloureuse de Gervaise est avant tout une passion où s’expriment une intense volonté de vivre, une générosité sans faille, un sens aigu de l’intimité comme de la fête. Et tant pis si, la fatalité aidant, divers « assommoirs » – un accident de travail, l’alcool, les « autres », la faim – ont finalement raison d’elle et des siens. Gervaise aura parcouru une glorieuse trajectoire dans sa déchéance même. Relisons L’Assommoir, cette « passion de Gervaise », cet étonnant chef-d’oeuvre, avec des yeux neufs.

Comment ne pas parler de dynamiques familiales sans évoquer Zola ? Sa série Les Rougon-Macquart rentre pleinement dans cette catégorique. Elle est en l’exemple même, car Zola étudie à travers une famille les prédispositions à l’alcoolisme, par exemple, ou à la folie… J’en suis au septième tome, L’Assommoir et jusqu’à présent, rares sont les tomes qui m’ont déçue.

After Alice fell de Kim Taylor Blackemore

New Hampshire, 1865. Marion Abbott is summoned to Brawders House asylum to collect the body of her sister, Alice. She’d been found dead after falling four stories from a steep-pitched roof. Officially: an accident. Confidentially: suicide. But Marion believes a third option: murder.

Returning to her family home to stay with her brother and his second wife, the recently widowed Marion is expected to quiet her feelings of guilt and grief—to let go of the dead and embrace the living. But that’s not easy in this house full of haunting memories.

Just when the search for the truth seems hopeless, a stranger approaches Marion with chilling words: I saw her fall.

Now Marion is more determined than ever to find out what happened that night at Brawders, and why. With no one she can trust, Marion may risk her own life to uncover the secrets buried with Alice in the family plot.

Sorti cette année, ce roman serait presque un huis clos au sein d’une famille. En effet, la mort de la plus jeune soeur, Alice, rend les relations tendues entre Marion et son frère et sa belle-soeur. Il n’y a pas que la mort de la plus jeune des soeurs qui empoisonne l’atmosphère, mais bien d’autres sombres secrets. C’est un roman que j’ai beaucoup aimé.

Quand Hitler s’empara du lapin rose de Judith Kerr

Imaginez que le climat se détériore dans votre pays, au point que certains citoyens soient menacés dans leur existence. Imaginez surtout que votre père se trouve être l’un de ces citoyens et qu’il soit obligé d’abandonner tout et de partir sur-le-champ, pour éviter la prison et même la mort. C’est l’histoire d’Anna dans l’Allemagne nazie d’Adolf Hitler. Elle a neuf ans et ne s’occupe guère que de crayons de couleur, de visites au zoo avec son « oncle » Julius et de glissades dans la neige. Brutalement les choses changent. Son père disparaît sans prévenir. Puis, elle-même et le reste de sa famille s’expatrient pour le rejoindre à l’étranger. Départ de Berlin qui ressemble à une fuite. Alors commence la vie dure – mais non sans surprises – de réfugiés. D’abord la Suisse, près de Zurich. Puis Paris. Enfin Londres. Odyssée pleine de fatigues et d’angoisses mais aussi de pittoresque et d’imprévu – et toujours drôles – d’Anna et de son frère Max affrontant l’inconnu et contraints de vaincre toutes sortes de difficultés – dont la première et non la moindre: celle des langues étrangères! Ce récit autobiographique de Judith Kerr nous enchante par l’humour qui s’en dégage, et nous touche par cette particulière vibration de ton propre aux souvenirs de famille, quand il apparaît que la famille fut une de celles où l’on s’aime…

J’ai déjà eu l’occasion d’évoquer ce roman et son adaptation cinématographique sur le blog. [lien] C’est une très belle histoire d’une famille qui reste unie malgré les épreuves et qui fait preuve d’une grande résilience. Il y a un beau message dans ce roman, où la famille, le fait de rester ensemble malgré les difficultés sont les choses les plus importantes.

Guerre & Paix de Léon Tolstoï

1805 à Moscou, en ces temps de paix fragile, les Bolkonsky, les Rostov et les Bézoukhov constituent les personnages principaux d’une chronique familiale. Une fresque sociale où l’aristocratie, de Moscou à Saint-Pétersbourg, entre grandeur et misérabilisme, se prend au jeu de l’ambition sociale, des mesquineries, des premiers émois.

1812, la guerre éclate et peu à peu les personnages imaginaires évoluent au sein même des événements historiques. Le conte social, dépassant les ressorts de l’intrigue psychologique, prend une dimension d’épopée historique et se change en récit d’une époque. La “Guerre” selon Tolstoï, c’est celle menée contre Napoléon par l’armée d’Alexandre, c’est la bataille d’Austerlitz, l’invasion de la Russie, l’incendie de Moscou, puis la retraite des armées napoléoniennes.

Entre les deux romans de sa fresque, le portrait d’une classe sociale et le récit historique, Tolstoï tend une passerelle, livrant une réflexion philosophique sur le décalage de la volonté humaine aliénée à l’inéluctable marche de l’Histoire ou lorsque le destin façonne les hommes malgré eux.

Un autre auteur spécialisé dans les chroniques familiales, Léon Tolstoï. Dans ce récit, il s’intéresse à plusieurs familles de l’aristocratie russe. Il montre les relations au sein d’une même famille et celles qu’elles entretiennent entre elles. C’est une très bonne lecture que je recommande. Mon avis est disponible sur le blog. [lien]