Top 5 Wednesday • Back to school

Le thème de cette semaine s’intitule Back to school. Le sens peut être très large, puisque sont acceptés les livres lus durant les études ou ceux parlant d’écoles, de lycées, d’universités… C’est plutôt dans ce sens-là que j’ai axé ma sélection. Les romans que je vous propose ont tous été lus.

The Assignment • Liza Wiemer

SENIOR YEAR. When an assignment given by a favorite teacher instructs a group of students to argue for the Final Solution, a euphemism used to describe the Nazi plan for the genocide of the Jewish people, Logan March and Cade Crawford are horrified. Their teacher cannot seriously expect anyone to complete an assignment that fuels intolerance and discrimination. Logan and Cade decide they must take a stand. As the school administration addressed the teens’ refusal to participate in the appalling debate, the student body, their parents, and the larger community are forced to face the issue as well. The situation explodes, and acrimony and anger result. What does it take for tolerance, justice, and love to prevail?

They never learn • Layne Fargo

Scarlett Clark is an exceptional English professor. But she’s even better at getting away with murder.

Every year, she searches for the worst man at Gorman University and plots his well-deserved demise. Thanks to her meticulous planning, she’s avoided drawing attention to herself—but as she’s preparing for her biggest kill yet, the school starts probing into the growing body count on campus. Determined to keep her enemies close, Scarlett insinuates herself into the investigation and charms the woman in charge, Dr. Mina Pierce. Everything’s going according to her master plan…until she loses control with her latest victim, putting her secret life at risk of exposure.

Meanwhile, Gorman student Carly Schiller is just trying to survive her freshman year. Finally free of her emotionally abusive father, all Carly wants is to focus on her studies and fade into the background. Her new roommate has other ideas. Allison Hadley is cool and confident—everything Carly wishes she could be—and the two girls quickly form an intense friendship. So when Allison is sexually assaulted at a party, Carly becomes obsessed with making the attacker pay…and turning her fantasies about revenge into a reality.

In my dreams I hold a knife • Ashley Winstead

A college reunion turns dark and deadly in this chilling and propulsive suspense novel about six friends, one unsolved murder, and the dark secrets they’ve been hiding from each other—and themselves—for a decade.

Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent—not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year. Ten years ago, everything fell apart, including the dreams she worked for her whole life—and her relationship with the one person she wasn’t supposed to love.

But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.

Métamorphoses, Vita Nostra • Marina et Sergueï Diatchenko

Vita nostra brevis est, brevi finietur…
« Notre vie est brève, elle finira bientôt… »

C’est dans le bourg paumé de Torpa que Sacha entonnera l’hymne des étudiants, à l’« Institut des technologies spéciales ». Pour y apprendre quoi ? Allez savoir. Dans quel but et en vue de quelle carrière ? Mystère encore. Il faut dire que son inscription ne relève pas exactement d’un choix : on la lui a imposée… Comment s’étonner dès lors de l’apparente absurdité de l’enseignement, de l’arbitraire despotisme des professeurs et de l’inquiétante bizarrerie des étudiants ?

A-t-on affaire, avec Vita nostra, à un roman d’initiation à la magie ? Oui et non. On évoque irrésistiblement la saga d’Harry Potter et plus encore Les Magiciens de Lev Grossman. Mêmes jeunes esprits en formation, même apprentissage semé d’obstacles. Mais c’est sur une autre terre et dans une autre culture, slaves celles-là, que reposent les fondations d’un livre qui nous rappellera que le Verbe se veut à l’origine du monde. Les lecteurs de fantasy occidentale saturés d’aspirations à l’héroïsme tous azimuts en seront tourneboulés.

My dark Vanessa • Kate Elizabeth Russell

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of RoomMy Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself. 

Sorties VO • Août 2021

A lesson in vengeance • Victoria Lee • Delacorte Press • 3 août • 384 pages

Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School.

Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.

Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget.

It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called “method writer.” She’s eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.

The Dead & the Dark • Courtney Gould • Wednesday Books • 3 août • 352 pages

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on.

Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his presence ever since. But now that the Ortiz-Woodleys are in town, his ghost is following her and the only person Ashley can trust is the mysterious Logan. When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.

The Turnout • Megan Abbott • Putnam’s Son • 3 août • 352 pages

Ballet flows through their veins. Dara and Marie Durant were dancers since birth, with their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, homeschooled and trained by their mother. Decades later the Durant School of Dance is theirs. The two sisters, together with Charlie, Dara’s husband and once their mother’s prize student, inherited the school after their parents died in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago. Marie, warm and soft, teaches the younger students; Dara, with her precision, trains the older ones; and Charlie, back broken after years of injuries, rules over the back office. Circling around each other, the three have perfected a dance, six days a week, that keeps the studio thriving. But when a suspicious accident occurs, just at the onset of the school’s annual performance of The Nutcracker, a season of competition, anxiety, and exhilaration, an interloper arrives and threatens the delicate balance of everything they’ve worked for.

Once there were wolves • Charlotte McConaghy • Flatiron Books • 3 août • 272 pages

Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska.

Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she’s witnessed—inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. Yet as the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, Inti makes a reckless decision to protect them. But if the wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will Inti do when the man she is falling for seems to be the prime suspect?

The family plot • Megan Collins • Atria Books • 17 août • 320 pages

At twenty-six, Dahlia Lighthouse has a lot to learn when it comes to the real world. Raised in a secluded island mansion deep in the woods and kept isolated by her true crime-obsessed parents, she has spent the last several years living on her own, but unable to move beyond her past—especially the disappearance of her twin brother Andy when they were sixteen.

With her father’s death, Dahlia returns to the house she has avoided for years. But as the rest of the Lighthouse family arrives for the memorial, a gruesome discovery is made: buried in the reserved plot is another body—Andy’s, his skull split open with an ax.

Each member of the family handles the revelation in unusual ways. Her brother Charlie pours his energy into creating a family memorial museum, highlighting their research into the lives of famous murder victims; her sister Tate forges ahead with her popular dioramas portraying crime scenes; and their mother affects a cheerfully domestic façade, becoming unrecognizable as the woman who performed murder reenactments for her children. As Dahlia grapples with her own grief and horror, she realizes that her eccentric family, and the mansion itself, may hold the answers to what happened to her twin.

In my dreams I hold a knife • Ashley Winstead • Sourcebooks Landmark • 31 août • 368 pages

A college reunion turns dark and deadly in this chilling and propulsive suspense novel about six friends, one unsolved murder, and the dark secrets they’ve been hiding from each other—and themselves—for a decade.

Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent—not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year. Ten years ago, everything fell apart, including the dreams she worked for her whole life—and her relationship with the one person she wasn’t supposed to love.

But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.

The Witch Haven • Sasha Peyton Smith • Simon & Schuster • 31 août • 448 pages

In 1911 New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell spends her days as a seamstress, mourning the mysterious death of her brother months prior. Everything changes when she’s attacked and a man ends up dead at her feet—her scissors in his neck, and she can’t explain how they got there.

Before she can be condemned as a murderess, two cape-wearing nurses arrive to inform her she is deathly ill and ordered to report to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But Frances finds Haxahaven isn’t a sanitarium at all: it’s a school for witches. Within Haxahaven’s glittering walls, Frances finds the sisterhood she craves, but the headmistress warns Frances that magic is dangerous. Frances has no interest in the small, safe magic of her school, and is instead enchanted by Finn, a boy with magic himself who appears in her dreams and tells her he can teach her all she’s been craving to learn, lessons that may bring her closer to discovering what truly happened to her brother.

Frances’s newfound power attracts the attention of the leader of an ancient order who yearns for magical control of Manhattan. And who will stop at nothing to have Frances by his side. Frances must ultimately choose what matters more, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her city and fellow witches. What price would she pay for power, and what if the truth is more terrible than she ever imagined?

The woods are always watching • Stephanie Perkins • Dutton Books • 31 août • 304 pages

A traditional backwoods horror story set–first page to last–in the woods of the Pisgah National Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Two girls go backpacking in the woods. Things go very wrong.

And, then, their paths collide with a serial killer. 

The bookseller’s secret • Michelle Gable • Graydon House • 17 août • 400 pages

In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics.

Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.

Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…

The Women of Troy • Pat Baker • Doubleday • 24 août • 304 pages

Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home victors, loaded with their spoils: their stolen gold, stolen weapons, stolen women. All they need is a good wind to lift their sails.

But the wind does not come. The gods have been offended – the body of Priam lies desecrated, unburied – and so the victors remain in limbo, camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, pacing at the edge of an unobliging sea. And, in these empty, restless days, the hierarchies that held them together begin to fray, old feuds resurface and new suspicions fester.

Largely unnoticed by her squabbling captors, Briseis remains in the Greek encampment. She forges alliances where she can – with young, dangerously naïve Amina, with defiant, aged Hecuba, with Calchus, the disgraced priest – and begins to see the path to a kind of revenge. Briseis has survived the Trojan War, but peacetime may turn out to be even more dangerous…

The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women • Nancy Marie Brown • St Martin’s Press • 31 août • 336 pages

In 2017, DNA tests revealed to the collective shock of many scholars that a Viking warrior in a high-status grave in Birka, Sweden was actually a woman. The Real Valkyrie weaves together archaeology, history, and literature to imagine her life and times, showing that Viking women had more power and agency than historians have imagined.

Brown uses science to link the Birka warrior, whom she names Hervor, to Viking trading towns and to their great trade route east to Byzantium and beyond. She imagines her life intersecting with larger-than-life but real women, including Queen Gunnhild Mother-of-Kings, the Viking leader known as The Red Girl, and Queen Olga of Kyiv. Hervor’s short, dramatic life shows that much of what we have taken as truth about women in the Viking Age is based not on data, but on nineteenth-century Victorian biases. Rather than holding the household keys, Viking women in history, law, saga, poetry, and myth carry weapons. These women brag, “As heroes we were widely known—with keen spears we cut blood from bone.” In this compelling narrative Brown brings the world of those valkyries and shield-maids to vivid life.

The last Mona Lisa • Jonathan Santlofer • Sourcebook Landmark • 17 août • 400 pages

August, 1911: The Mona Lisa is stolen by Vincent Peruggia. Exactly what happens in the two years before its recovery is a mystery. Many replicas of the Mona Lisa exist, and more than one historian has wondered if the painting now in the Louvre is a fake, switched in 1911.

Present day: art professor Luke Perrone digs for the truth behind his most famous ancestor: Peruggia. His search attracts an Interpol detective with something to prove and an unfamiliar but curiously helpful woman. Soon, Luke tumbles deep into the world of art and forgery, a land of obsession and danger.

A gripping novel exploring the 1911 theft and the present underbelly of the art world, The Last Mona Lisa is a suspenseful tale, tapping into our universal fascination with da Vinci’s enigma, why people are driven to possess certain works of art, and our fascination with the authentic and the fake. 

Bilan des sorties VO lues • Janvier à Juin 2021

Depuis un peu plus d’un an, je propose un tour d’horizon des sorties VO (en anglais) qui me tentent énormément. J’en lis un certain nombre, mais sans toujours les chroniquer sur le blog. Le mois de Juin vient de toucher à sa fin et, avec lui, la moitié de l’année. L’occasion parfaite pour un petit bilan mi-parcours des parutions déjà lues et celles que j’aimerai encore découvrir.

En cliquant sur les mois, vous accédez à l’article sur les sorties VO correspondant.

Janvier

Livres lus

The House on Vesper Sands – Padraic O’Donnell

On the case is Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious. Gideon Bliss, a Cambridge dropout in love with one of the missing girls, stumbles into a role as Cutter’s sidekick. And clever young journalist Octavia Hillingdon sees the case as a chance to tell a story that matters—despite her employer’s preference that she stick to a women’s society column. As Inspector Cutter peels back the mystery layer by layer, he leads them all, at last, to the secrets that lie hidden at the house on Vesper Sands.

J’avais hâte de pouvoir le lire, car il avait de bons arguments : un policier historique, la période victorienne, un meurtre qui semble mettre en oeuvre des forces occultes… Mais au bout d’un gros tiers, l’intrigue n’a toujours pas démarré et le livre commence à devenir trop lent et mon attention descendait en flèche. Même en dépassant la centaine de pages, je n’avais pas le sentiment que l’intrigue avait réellement commencé alors que quasiment un tiers était lu.

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

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.

Le livre prend place dans l’univers de Jane Austen et notamment Pride & Prejudice, en s’intéressant à la cousine de Fitzwilliam Darcy, Anne de Bourgh. Pas un coup de coeur car, malheureusement, le roman souffre de trop nombreuses longueurs. Cependant, Anne est un personnage attachant à suivre, surtout quand elle sort de son cocon. L’aspect historique est également bien développé.

Lore – Alexandra Bracken

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Lore est un roman d’action qui s’inspire de la mythologie grecque. Ce n’est pas totalement un coup de coeur, mais j’ai vraiment passé un bon moment. Il y a une bonne dose d’actions, de rebondissements… L’idée de départ est originale et bien développée.

Don’t tell a soul – Kirsten Miller

All Bram wanted was to disappear—from her old life, her family’s past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left to go is Louth, the tiny town on the Hudson River where her uncle, James, has been renovating an old mansion. But James is haunted by his own ghosts. Months earlier, his beloved wife died in a fire that people say was set by her daughter. The tragedy left James a shell of the man Bram knew—and destroyed half the house he’d so lovingly restored.

The manor is creepy, and so are the locals. The people of Louth don’t want outsiders like Bram in their town, and with each passing day she’s discovering that the rumors they spread are just as disturbing as the secrets they hide. Most frightening of all are the legends they tell about the Dead Girls. Girls whose lives were cut short in the very house Bram now calls home. The terrifying reality is that the Dead Girls may have never left the manor. And if Bram looks too hard into the town’s haunted past, she might not either.

En un seul mot… Creepy. L’histoire est dérangeante à souhaite et il y a quelques moments qui font bien frissonner. Il m’est arrivé à plusieurs reprises de devoir le mettre de côté, quand j’étais toute seule en soirée. L’auteur maîtrise parfaitement le suspens et à chaque page tournée, je voulais connaître la vérité, car il y avait quelques bizarreries qui interviennent durant la lecture… J’ai adoré l’évolution de l’intrigue et le livre est un coup de coeur.

Ceux que j’aimerais lire

Our darkest night de Jennifer Robson ; The Divines d’Ellie Eaton ; The last garden in England de Julia Kelly ; Faye, faraway d’Helen Fisher ; The Historians de Cecilia Eckbäck ; In the garden of spite de Camilla Bruce ; The Children’s train de Viola Ardone.

Février

Livres lus

The Paris Dressmaker – Kristy Cambron

Paris, 1939. Maison Chanel has closed, thrusting haute couture dressmaker Lila de Laurent out of the world of high fashion as Nazi soldiers invade the streets and the City of Lights slips into darkness. Lila’s life is now a series of rations, brutal restrictions, and carefully controlled propaganda while Paris is cut off from the rest of the world. Yet in hidden corners of the city, the faithful pledge to resist. Lila is drawn to La Resistance and is soon using her skills as a dressmaker to infiltrate the Nazi elite. She takes their measurements and designs masterpieces, all while collecting secrets in the glamorous Hôtel Ritz—the heart of the Nazis’ Parisian headquarters. But when dashing René Touliard suddenly reenters her world, Lila finds her heart tangled between determination to help save his Jewish family and bolstering the fight for liberation.

Paris, 1943. Sandrine Paquet’s job is to catalog the priceless works of art bound for the Führer’s Berlin, masterpieces stolen from prominent Jewish families. But behind closed doors, she secretly forages for information from the underground resistance. Beneath her compliant façade lies a woman bent on uncovering the fate of her missing husband . . . but at what cost? As Hitler’s regime crumbles, Sandrine is drawn in deeper when she uncrates an exquisite blush Chanel gown concealing a cryptic message that may reveal the fate of a dressmaker who vanished from within the fashion elite.

Je ressors extrêmement déçue par ce roman. En soi, il avait de quoi me plaire : la mode et plus particulièrement la Maison Chanel, Paris sous l’Occupation, la Résistance et le destin de deux femmes… Malheureusement, l’auteur alterne non seulement les deux points de vue, et deux époques différentes : le début de la guerre et 1944. Cela fait quatre trames différentes, et elles ne sont pas d’égal intérêt. J’ai eu du mal à m’attacher à Simone et Lila.

The Shadow War – Lindsay Smith

World War II is raging, and five teens are looking to make a mark. Daniel and Rebeka seek revenge against the Nazis who slaughtered their family; Simone is determined to fight back against the oppressors who ruined her life and corrupted her girlfriend; Phillip aims to prove that he’s better than his worst mistakes; and Liam is searching for a way to control the portal to the shadow world he’s uncovered, and the monsters that live within it–before the Nazi regime can do the same. When the five meet, and begrudgingly team up, in the forests of Germany, none of them knows what their future might hold.

As they race against time, war, and enemies from both this world and another, Liam, Daniel, Rebeka, Phillip, and Simone know that all they can count on is their own determination and will to survive. With their world turned upside down, and the shadow realm looming ominously large–and threateningly close–the course of history and the very fate of humanity rest in their hands. Still, the most important question remains: Will they be able to save it?

Il y a de bonnes idées : la Seconde Guerre mondiale, des forces occultes et un monde parallèle, une mission impossible… L’intrigue possède beaucoup trop de personnages et de points de vues différents pour que la lecture soit agréable. Je m’y perdais. Par ailleurs, les personnages sont plus des archétypes que réellement travaillés et nuancés. L’histoire traine en longueur alors que je m’attendais à plus d’action.

The Witch’s Heart – Genevieve Gornichec

Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age.

J’adore les réécritures, que ce soit de contes ou de la mythologique. Genevieve Gornichec s’inspire d’une des épouses de Loki, Angrboda la sorcière. Ce type d’ouvrages se veut dans une lignée féministe, mais il rate quelque peu son effet. J’en ai lu la moitié avant d’abandonner. Le livre a été d’un tel ennui que je suis même étonnée d’avoir eu la patience de tenir jusque là.

Ceux que j’aimerais lire

While Paris slept de Ruth Druart ; The house upstairs de Julia Fine ; The invisible woman d’Erika Robuck ; A history of what come next de Sylvain Neuvel ; All Girls d’Emily Layden ; The kitchen front de Jennifer Ryan.

Mars

Livres lus

After Alice felll – Kim Taylor Blakemore

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. 

Un roman rempli de secrets de famille avec une atmosphère loure. Malgré quelques lenteurs qui peuvent parfois ponctuer le livre, les pages se tournent facilement, car l’envie de savoir ce qui est arrivé à Alice est plus forte, tout comme celle de découvrir le ou les secrets du frère de Marion et de son épouse. Pas un coup de coeur, mais une bonne lecture.

The Women of Château Lafayette – Stephanie Dray

A founding mother…
1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband’s political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

A daring visionary…
1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing–not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what’s right.

A reluctant resistor…
1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan’s self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become. 

Lafayette revient à la mode après la sortie de la comédie musicale Hamilton. Stephanie Dray en fait l’élément central de son nouveau roman en explorant le destin de trois femmes durant la Révolution française, la Première et la Deuxième Guerre mondiale. Même si les époques sont totalement différentes pour ne pas être confondues, certaines sont plus intéressantes que d’autres. Néanmoins, cela reste un livre que j’ai abandonné.

Ceux que j’aimerais lire

Under the light of the Italian moon de Jennifer Anton ; Vera de Carol Edgarian ; The lost village de Camilla Sten ; The Rose Code de Kate Quinn ; The lost apothecary de Sarah Penner.

Avril

Livres lus

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.

Le résumé me faisait penser à une pièce de Shakespeare : trois soeurs aux destins différentes et dramatiques. J’ai adoré suivre l’histoire de ces soeurs, d’apprendre à les connaître, leurs secrets, leurs rêves et leurs espoirs. Elles sont différentes et je ne saurai dire laquelle a été ma préférée. Elles m’ont plu pour des raisons diverses. J’ai adoré à la fois le contexte historique (la Grande-Bretagne après la chute de l’Empire romain) et fantastique (la présence de magie et de Merlin). Le coup de coeur n’était pas loin, mais c’est un très bon roman que je ne regrette pas d’avoir découvert.

Ceux que j’aimerais lire

Ariadne de Jennifer Saint ; Near the bone de Christina Henry ; Ophelia de Norman Bacal ; The Mary Shelley Club de Goldy Moldavsky ; The last bookshop of London de Madeline Martin ; The Dictionnary of lost words de Pip Williams.

Mai

Ceux que j’aimerais lire

The Radio Operator d’Ulla Lenze ; Madam de Phoebe Wynne ; The lights of Prague de Nicole Jarvis.

Juin

Ceux que j’aimerais lire

The Wolf and the Woodsman d’Ava Reid ; Daughter of Sparta de Claire M. Andrews ; The nature of the witches de Rachel Griffin ; The Maidens d’Alex Michaelides ; For the Wolf d’Hannah F. Whitten.

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 #1 • Favorite Tropes

J’inaugure un nouveau rendez-vous sur le blog avec le Top 5 Wednesday. Je ne pense pas forcément participer toutes les semaines, mais si le thème me plait et me parle, c’est avec plaisir que j’y réagirai. Les sujets sont annoncés chaque mois sur le groupe Goodreads.

Thème : Favorite Tropes

Avant de me lancer dans cet article, j’ai fait quelques recherches sur ce terme de tropes et sur ce qu’il pouvait signifiait en français. Le meilleur terme que j’ai trouvé est celui de lieux communs. À titre d’exemples, dans les romances, ce seraient les fausses relations amoureuses ou tout ce qui touche à la royauté, les mariages de convenance… Pour le fantastique, ce sont les thématiques d’un•e Élu•e, sauver le monde… Pour mes cinq « lieux communs » préférés, j’ai essayé de tirer un exemple parmi mes plus récentes lectures, ou, du moins, depuis le début d’année.

1. La quête

L’exemple le plus parlant est sans conteste la quête du Graal. Je pense aussi au Seigneur des Anneaux de J.R.R. Tolkien. C’est un lieu commun que j’apprécie beaucoup. Dans mon esprit, il y a toujours le côté partir à l’aventure, aller vers l’inconnu, sortir de sa zone de confort… Le personnage principal va tirer des connaissances, des expériences de son voyage.

Un des derniers livres que j’ai pu lire et qui représente parfaitement cette idée de quête est le troisième tome de la série La Passe-Miroir, La mémoire de Babel. De manière général, la série raconte la quête d’Ophélie et Thorn pour découvrir l’identité de Dieu et l’arrêter.

Thorn a disparu depuis deux ans et demi et Ophélie désespère. Les indices trouvés dans le livre de Farouk et les informations livrées par Dieu mènent toutes à l’arche de Babel, dépositaire des archives mémorielles du monde. Ophélie décide de s’y rendre sous une fausse identité.

2. Une relique ou un artefact puissant•e

S’il est doublé d’une quête, c’est encore mieux ! Je pense que mon amour pour ce genre de lieux communs vient d’Indiana Jones, qui est présenté comme un chasseur de reliques et de trésor (même si, en réalité, il est plus un pilleur de tombes). Certaines d’entre elles ont des propriétés magiques. En littérature, il y a, à nouveau, la quête du Graal, ou les thrillers ésotériques, genres dont je raffole.

Et c’est justement un thriller ésotérique que je vais prendre en exemple avec une des mes toutes dernières lectures. Elle date du début du mois. Il s’agit du troisième tome de la dernière série d’Éric Giacometti et Jacques Ravenne, Soleil noir, La relique du chaos. Les reliques (très particulières pour le coup) ont un caractère mystique et magique.

Juillet 1942. Jamais l’issue du conflit n’a semblé aussi incertaine. Si l’Angleterre a écarté tout risque d’invasion, la Russie de Staline plie sous les coups de boutoir des armées d’Hitler. L’Europe est sur le point de basculer. À travers la quête des Swastikas, la guerre occulte se déchaîne pour tenter de faire pencher la balance. Celui qui s’emparera de l’objet sacré remportera la victoire. Tristan Marcas, agent double au passé obscur, part à la recherche du trésor des Romanov, qui cache, selon le dernier des tsars, l’ultime relique. À Berlin, Moscou et Londres, la course contre la montre est lancée, entraînant dans une spirale vertigineuse Erika, l’archéologue allemande et Laure, la jeune résistante française…

3. Un amour impossible

La faute à Roméo et Juliette de Shakespeare, qui est une de mes pièces préférées au monde. Je prend ce thème ou lieux commun dans un sens très large, car des raisons pour lesquelles un amour peut être impossible sont variées.

Un des derniers livres que j’ai lu et qui peut illustrer ce sujet est Follow me to ground de Sue Rainsford. Il s’agit d’une histoire d’amour entre une sorcière et un mortel qui est vu d’un mauvais oeil par les familles des deux protagonistes.

LIEN VERS L’ARTICLE

Ada and her father, touched by the power to heal illness, live on the edge of a village where they help sick locals—or “Cures”—by cracking open their damaged bodies or temporarily burying them in the reviving, dangerous Ground nearby. Ada, a being both more and less than human, is mostly uninterested in the Cures, until she meets a man named Samson. When they strike up an affair, to the displeasure of her father and Samson’s widowed, pregnant sister, Ada is torn between her old way of life and new possibilities with her lover—and eventually comes to a decision that will forever change Samson, the town, and the Ground itself.

4. Un conflit avec un dieu

C’est un lieu commun qui, pour le coup, brasse très large. Il me rappelle à la fois les récits bibliques, la mythologie grecque… Je pense aussi à des livres fantastiques ou de science-fiction, les réécritures autour des mythes et légendes.

Un livre que j’ai très récemment lu (et apprécié) et dans lequel l’intrigue a pour origine un conflit avec un dieu est Lore d’Alexandra Bracken. Le conflit est entre Zeus et les dieux, les anciens et les nouveaux dieux, les dieux avec les chasseurs… L’auteur s’inspire de la mythologie grecque.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality. Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

5. Les sagas familiales

Je lis pas mal de sagas familiales, surtout par des auteurs russes. J’aime suivre le destin d’une famille sur une ou plusieurs générations. J’ai tellement d’exemples qui me viennent à l’esprit comme La saga moscovite de Vassily Axionov, Guerre & Paix de Léon Tolstoï (terminé en début d’année).

Cependant, si je dois prendre un exemple dans mes lectures très récentes, ce sont les Rougon-Macquart de Zola qui arrivent en premier. C’est aussi un des grands exemples de sagas familiales et celle-ci compte près de vingt tomes. Au début du mois, j’ai terminé le septième tome, L’Assommoir qui est un coup de coeur.

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.

Quels sont vos « lieux communs » préférés en littérature ? Quels en sont les meilleurs exemples ?

Rebecca McLaughlin • The Nameless Queen (2020)

The Nameless Queen • Rebecca McLaughlin • Crown Bookes • Janvier 2020 • 352 pages

Everyone expected the king’s daughter would inherit the throne. No one expected me. 

It shouldn’t even be possible. I’m Nameless, a class of citizens so disrespected, we don’t even get names. Heck, dozens of us have been going missing for months and no one seems to care.

But there’s no denying the tattoo emblazoned on my arm. I am queen. In a palace where the corridors are more dangerous the streets, though, how could I possibly rule? And what will become of the Nameless if I don’t?


The Nameless Queen est un roman fantastique de Rebecca McLaughlin, publié en 2020. Il s’agit (pour l’instant) d’un one-shot. La fin n’est pas assez ouverte pour espérer un deuxième tome, mais sait-on jamais. Il me tardait de le découvrir, la couverture et le résumé m’ayant tout de suite charmé. En refermant ce livre, je me rends compte qu’il y a plein d’aspects imparfaits, tout en ayant un certain charme. Il m’a été impossible de le mettre de côté.

Le premier grand reproche que je peux formuler concerne surtout l’héroïne, Coin. Elle souffre du syndrome de la Mary Sue, c’est-à-dire un personnage trop parfait. Selon la définition, la Mary Sue a, par exemple, un sens moral très développé, des compétences hors norme qu’elle maîtrise à la perfection en peu de temps, et/ou un destin magnifique et glorieux. Elle gagne l’admiration de tous. Ce sont autant d’éléments qui peuvent se retrouver dans Coin. En effet, à partir du moment où elle obtient les pouvoirs liés à sa fonction de reine, elle commence à les expérimenter et très vite (trop vite), et à les maîtriser sans aucun souci. Il y a une date butoir d’un mois avant de devoir affronter, dans un espère de combat à la fois physique et magique, une générale de l’armée royale, bien plus âgée et expérimentée qu’elle et qui utilise ses pouvoirs depuis bien plus longtemps. Pas besoin de parier sur l’issu de leur rencontre, le lecteur sait pertinemment comment ça va se terminer. Le problème avec de tels personnages principaux est qu’il n’y a pas réellement de mystères sur leur destin, et donc sur la fin.

Deuxièmement, l’univers m’a plu, même si je retrouve des éléments classiques de ce type d’ouvrages : une société basée sur des castes sociales, une héroïne issue de la classe la plus basse et qui va renverser l’ordre établi, le tout avec beaucoup d’actions. J’ai aimé la présence de la magie, réservée qu’à une petite élite au sein de la population. Il y avait de nombreuses idées qui étaient plutôt bonnes en apparence, mais qui auraient mérité plus d’explications. Sur bien des points, l’auteur ne fait que toucher du bout des doigts des sujets intéressants : comment la magie a été bridée, pourquoi seulement la caste des Royaux peuvent la manier, quels sont réellement les pouvoirs des différents membres du Conseil… Ce ne sont que des exemples parmi tant d’autres. Il y avait des passages un peu frustrant, car, en tant que lectrice, je voulais en savoir davantage. L’univers manque, malheureusement, de profondeur alors qu’il était prometteur. L’auteur effleure simplement toutes les possibilités du monde qu’elle met en place et je pense qu’il y avait du potentiel.

Malgré tout, The Nameless Queen est un roman fantastique qui se laisse lire. Il y a surtout de l’action et l’intrigue démarre très rapidement. J’ai été prise dans un tourbillon d’événements pour n’en sortir que dans les toutes dernières pages. Même si certaines révélations se devinent bien en amont, je n’ai pas boudé mon plaisir, car Rebecca McLaughlin offre ici un agréable moment de divertissement, certes imparfait, mais prenant.

Emerald Island Challenge #3

La femme qui se cognait dans les portes • Roddy Doyle • 1996 • Pavillons Poche • 329 pages

Après le succès de sa trilogie de Barrytown et le triomphe de Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Roddy Doyle réussit un nouveau tour de force avec ce roman où il trouve – lui, un homme – le ton juste pour dire « Moi, Paula, trente-neuf ans, femme battue ». C’est avec un mélange d’humour – irlandais bien sûr – et de cruauté qu’il prend la voix de cette Paula Spencer, une Dublinoise dont la vie conjugale a été ponctuée de raclées, de dents et de côtes brisées, alcoolique au surplus et par voie de conséquence. Mais qui reste digne et garde la force de prétendre, à l’hôpital, après chaque dérouillée, qu’elle s’est « cognée dans la porte », un grand livre.

Roddy Doyle est un auteur irlandais que j’aime beaucoup et dont j’ai déjà lu quelques titres quand j’avais une vingtaine d’années, comme sa trilogie Barrytown ou Trois femmes et un fantôme. Je retourne vers lui avec La femme qui se cognait dans les portes, publié la première fois dans les années 1990. Le roman n’a pas pris une ride et il reste malheureusement d’actualité. Le sujet abordé est celui des violences domestiques et il est raconté du point de vue d’une femme qui a subi pendant de longues années les coups de son mari.

C’est un roman avec lequel j’ai eu énormément de mal, et je n’ai pas réussi à le terminer. Il est extrêmement rare que j’apprécie d’être autant mise mal à l’aise par une lecture. Cela a été le cas dès le début. Roddy Doyle ne cache rien des abus physiques et moraux que subit le personnage principal de la part de son mari, mais aussi durant son adolescence de la part de sa famille ou de ses camarades. L’auteur montre parfaitement que la violence est absolument partout. Il faut souvent avoir le coeur bien accroché, car il y a des passages difficiles. Même si c’est un livre essentiel, il n’est pas à mettre entre toutes les mains.

Certes, un abandon pour ma part. Je pense que je l’ai lu à un mauvais moment et je suis totalement passée à côté.

Follow me to ground • Sue Rainsford • 2020 • Scribner • 208 pages

Ada and her father, touched by the power to heal illness, live on the edge of a village where they help sick locals—or “Cures”—by cracking open their damaged bodies or temporarily burying them in the reviving, dangerous Ground nearby. Ada, a being both more and less than human, is mostly uninterested in the Cures, until she meets a man named Samson. When they strike up an affair, to the displeasure of her father and Samson’s widowed, pregnant sister, Ada is torn between her old way of life and new possibilities with her lover—and eventually comes to a decision that will forever change Samson, the town, and the Ground itself.

Je découvre la plume d’une nouvelle écrivaine irlandaise, Sue Rainsford. Follow me to ground est un roman particulier, mais qui m’a laissé sur le banc de touche.

Il y avait de bonnes idées avec les guérisons, une famille un peu magique. Depuis quelques temps, j’apprécie les ouvrages mettant en scène un certain réalisme magique. Celui-ci avait donc tout pour me plaire. Cependant, dès les premières pages, l’auteur m’a complètement perdu. Elle lâche son lecteur dans un monde sans réelles explications. Celles qui sont données sont bien trop vagues et n’aident pas à la compréhension globale de l’ouvrage. Je ne comprenais pas ce que je lisais. Ce n’était pas un problème de niveau de langue, mais des descriptions et des passages très bizarres, notamment les interventions chirurgicales.

Non seulement j’ai eu du mal avec les descriptions à imaginer l’histoire, les personnages, les lieux, je n’ai pas aimé le rythme saccadé de l’histoire, les va-et-vient dans le temps. Je me suis également attaché à aucun des différents personnages, aucun lien ne se crée avec eux. Il est ainsi d’autant plus difficile de s’investir dans l’intrigue ou leurs destins. En définitif, je suis restée très en extérieur de ce roman. Il est pourtant relativement court, mais je me suis vraiment ennuyée.

Naomi Novik • The Scholomance, A deadly education (1) (2020)

The Scholomance, A deadly education (1) • Naomi Novik • Del Rey Books • Septembre 2020 • 336 pages

There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.

El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students. 


Il y a deux ans, j’ai découvert la plume de Naomi Novik avec Déracinée. Elle a beaucoup d’imagination et elle fourmille de très bonnes idées. Cependant, il y a eu quelques mais.Je reviens vers cette autrice avec son nouveau roman. Le résumé m’a tout de suite charmé : une école de magie dangereuse et potentiellement mortelle a de quoi me plaire, ayant grandi avec Harry Potter.

L’idée de départ est géniale et Naomi Novik montre une nouvelle fois une imagination débordante. Tout est pensé dans les moindres détails dans cet univers, avec des monstres tapis dans l’ombre, des sortilèges et des maléfices, différents types de sorcières et sorciers qui se réunissent stratégiquement pour survivre. J’ai vraiment adoré tout cet aspect, mais pas la manière dont il est abordé. L’autrice lâche son lecteur dans ce monde, dans cette école sans préalable ou que les événements soient progressivement présentés. J’ai été totalement perdue dès les premières pages et j’ai vraiment eu beaucoup de difficultés à m’accrocher pour continuer. Je me suis habituée très, très lentement à cet univers, tout en restant en orbite. Et cela a énormément joué sur mon appréciation de lecture.

L’histoire m’a aussi laissé une impression mitigée. Alors certes, il y a très souvent de l’action. Chaque chapitre apporte son lot de rebondissements. Cependant, il y a un côté parfois excessif à ce déferlement de « on se bat contre des supers monstres » ou « je te sauve la vie après que tu aies sauvé la mienne« . J’ai vraiment trouvé ce point lassant à la longue, car il donne un aspect très répétitif à l’intrigue. En effet, la construction semble être la même à chaque chapitre : Orion et Galadriel se disputent, des monstres de plus en plus puissants, comme dans des niveaux à passer, apparaissent et ils se battent entre eux. Elle gagne en réputation et en influence… Ce qui lui sera pleinement utile pour le dernier jour de cours avec ses alliés. Je me suis quand même un brin ennuyée, malgré l’omniprésence de l’action. Il n’y a pas pour autant beaucoup de suspens, même après plus d’une centaine de pages lus…

J’ai aussi eu énormément de mal avec les deux personnages principaux, Galadriel et Orion, qui n’ont pas du tout trouvé grâce à mes yeux. Le jeune homme est l’archétype du chevalier servant qui veut sauver et protéger tout le monde. Il est parfait, en un mot… Galadriel est pédante, présentée comme une des sorcières les plus puissantes avec un destin hors du commun d’après une prophétie… Elle est énervante, toujours à se plaindre… Aucun atome crochu entre nous deux. Au final, il y a un beau duo de personnages qui m’a tapé sur les nerfs dès le début et ce n’est pas allé en s’améliorant, loin s’en faut.

J’étais impatiente de découvrir la nouvelle publication de Naomi Novik et je ressors extrêmement déçue par cette lecture. À part l’idée de départ, le reste ne m’a pas charmé. Le deuxième tome, The Last Graduate, devrait sortir courant 2021, mais ça sera sans moi. Je ne compte pas continuer cette série.

Sorties VO • Février 2021

The Paris Dressmaker • Kristy Cambron • Thomas Nelson • 400 pages • 16 février

Paris, 1939. Maison Chanel has closed, thrusting haute couture dressmaker Lila de Laurent out of the world of high fashion as Nazi soldiers invade the streets and the City of Lights slips into darkness. Lila’s life is now a series of rations, brutal restrictions, and carefully controlled propaganda while Paris is cut off from the rest of the world. Yet in hidden corners of the city, the faithful pledge to resist. Lila is drawn to La Resistance and is soon using her skills as a dressmaker to infiltrate the Nazi elite. She takes their measurements and designs masterpieces, all while collecting secrets in the glamorous Hôtel Ritz—the heart of the Nazis’ Parisian headquartersBut when dashing René Touliard suddenly reenters her world, Lila finds her heart tangled between determination to help save his Jewish family and bolstering the fight for liberation.

Paris, 1943. Sandrine Paquet’s job is to catalog the priceless works of art bound for the Führer’s Berlin, masterpieces stolen from prominent Jewish families. But behind closed doors, she secretly forages for information from the underground resistance. Beneath her compliant façade lies a woman bent on uncovering the fate of her missing husband . . . but at what cost? As Hitler’s regime crumbles, Sandrine is drawn in deeper when she uncrates an exquisite blush Chanel gown concealing a cryptic message that may reveal the fate of a dressmaker who vanished from within the fashion elite.

The Shadow War • Lindsay Smith • Philomel Books • 416 pages • 23 février

World War II is raging, and five teens are looking to make a mark. Daniel and Rebeka seek revenge against the Nazis who slaughtered their family; Simone is determined to fight back against the oppressors who ruined her life and corrupted her girlfriend; Phillip aims to prove that he’s better than his worst mistakes; and Liam is searching for a way to control the portal to the shadow world he’s uncovered, and the monsters that live within it–before the Nazi regime can do the same. When the five meet, and begrudgingly team up, in the forests of Germany, none of them knows what their future might hold.

As they race against time, war, and enemies from both this world and another, Liam, Daniel, Rebeka, Phillip, and Simone know that all they can count on is their own determination and will to survive. With their world turned upside down, and the shadow realm looming ominously large–and threateningly close–the course of history and the very fate of humanity rest in their hands. Still, the most important question remains: Will they be able to save it?

The Girl from Shadow Spring • Ellie Cypher • Simon Schuster • 320 pages • 9 février

Everyone in Shadow Springs knows that no one survives crossing the Flats. But the threat of a frozen death has never deterred the steady stream of treasure hunters searching for a legendary prize hidden somewhere in the vast expanse of ice. Jorie thinks they’re all fools, which makes scavenging their possessions easier. It’s how she and her sister, Brenna, survive.

Then Jorie scavenges off the wrong body. When the dead man’s enemy believes Jorie took something valuable from the body, he kidnaps Brenna as collateral. He tells Jorie that if she wants her sister back, she’ll have to trade her for the item he thinks she stole. But how can Jorie make a trade when she doesn’t even know what she’s looking for?

Her only source of information is Cody, the dead man’s nephew and a scholar from the South who’s never been hardened by the harsh conditions of the North. Though Jorie’s reluctant to bring a city boy out onto the Flats with her, she’ll do whatever it takes to save her sister. But anything can happen out on the ice, and soon Jorie and Cody find they need one another more than they ever imagined—and they’ll have to trust each other to survive threats beyond their darkest nightmares. 

The Witch’s Heart • Genevieve Gornichec • Ace Book • 368 pages • 9 février

Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age.

We are the ashes, we are the fires • Joy McCullough • Dutton Books • 400 pages • 9 février

Em Morales’s older sister was raped by another student after a frat party. A jury eventually found the rapist guilty on all counts–a remarkable verdict that Em felt more than a little responsible for, since she was her sister’s strongest advocate on social media during the trial. Her passion and outspokenness helped dissuade the DA from settling for a plea deal. Em’s family would have real justice. 

But the victory is lived. In a matter of minutes, justice vanishes as the judge turns the Morales family’s world upside down again by sentencing the rapist to no prison time. While her family is stunned, Em is literally sick with rage and guilt. To make matters worse, a news clip of her saying that the sentence “makes me want to use a fucking sword” goes viral.

From this low point, Em must find a new reason to go on and help her family heal, and she finds it in the unlikely form of the story of a 15th-century French noblewoman, Marguerite de Bressieux, who is legendary as an avenging knight for rape victims.

Dearest Josephine • Caroline George • Thomas Nelson • 384 pages • 2 février

2020: Chocolate and Earl Grey tea can’t fix Josie De Clare’s horrible year. She mourned the death of her father and suffered a teen-life crisis, which delayed her university plans. But when her father’s will reveals a family-owned property in Northern England, Josie leaves London to find clarity at the secluded manor house. While exploring the estate, she discovers two-hundred-year-old love letters written by an elusive novelist, all addressed to someone named Josephine. And then she discovers a novel in which it seems like she’s the heroine…

1820: Novelist Elias Roch loves a woman he can never be with. Born the bastard son to a nobleman and cast out from society, Elias seeks refuge in his mind with the quirky heroine who draws him into a fantasy world of scandal, betrayal, and unconditional love. Convinced she’s his soulmate, Elias writes letters to her, all of which divulge the tragedy and trials of his personal life.

As fiction blurs into reality, Josie and Elias must decide: How does one live if love can’t wait? Separated by two hundred years, they fight against time to find each other in a story of her, him, and the novel written by the man who loves her.

While Paris slept • Ruth Druart • Grand Central Publishing • 464 pages • 23 février

After. Santa Cruz, California, 1953. Jean-Luc and Charlotte Beauchamps have left their war-torn memories of Paris behind to live a quiet life in America with their son, Sam. They have a house in the suburbs, they’ve learned to speak English, and they have regular get-togethers with their outgoing American neighbors. Every minute in California erases a minute of their lives before — before the Germans invaded their French homeland and incited years of violence, hunger, and fear. But their taste of the American Dream shatters when officers from the U.N. Commission on War Crimes pull-up outside their home and bring Jean-Luc in for questioning.

Before. Paris, France, 1944. Germany has occupied France for four years. Jean-Luc works at the railway station at Bobigny, where thousands of Jews travel each day to be « resettled » in Germany. But Jean-Luc and other railway employees can’t ignore the rumors or what they see on the tracks: too many people are packed into the cars, and bodies are sometimes left to be disposed of after a train departs. Jean-Luc’s unease turns into full-blown panic when a young woman with bright green eyes bursts from the train one day alongside hundreds of screaming, terrified passengers, and pushes a warm, squirming bundle into his arms.

The upstairs house • Julia Fine • Harper • 304 pages • 23 février

Ravaged and sore from giving birth to her first child, Megan is mostly raising her newborn alone while her husband travels for work. Physically exhausted and mentally drained, she’s also wracked with guilt over her unfinished dissertation—a thesis on mid-century children’s literature.

Enter a new upstairs neighbor: the ghost of quixotic children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown—author of the beloved classic Goodnight Moon—whose existence no one else will acknowledge. It seems Margaret has unfinished business with her former lover, the once-famous socialite and actress Michael Strange, and is determined to draw Megan into the fray. As Michael joins the haunting, Megan finds herself caught in the wake of a supernatural power struggle—and until she can find a way to quiet these spirits, she and her newborn daughter are in terrible danger.

The Invisible Woman • Erika Robuck • Berkley Books • 368 pages • 9 février

France, March 1944. Virginia Hall wasn’t like the other young society women back home in Baltimore–she never wanted the debutante ball or silk gloves. Instead, she traded a safe life for adventure in Europe, and when her beloved second home is thrust into the dark days of war, she leaps in headfirst.

Once she’s recruited as an Allied spy, subverting the Nazis becomes her calling. But even the most cunning agent can be bested, and in wartime trusting the wrong person can prove fatal. Virginia is haunted every day by the betrayal that ravaged her first operation, and will do everything in her power to avenge the brave people she lost.

While her future is anything but certain, this time more than ever Virginia knows that failure is not an option. Especially when she discovers what–and whom–she’s truly protecting.

The Family Ship • Sonja Yoerg • Lake Union Publishing • 412 pages • 23 février

Chesapeake Bay, 1980. Eighteen-year-old Verity Vergennes is the captain of the USS Nepenthe, and her seven younger siblings are her crew. The ship—an oyster boat transformed into a make-believe destroyer—is the heart of the Vergennes family, a place both to play and to learn responsibility. But Verity’s had it with being tied to the ship and secretly applies to a distant college. If only her parents could bear to let her go.

Maeve and Arthur Vergennes already suffered one loss when, five years earlier, their eldest son, Jude, stormed out and never returned. Now Maeve is pregnant again and something’s amiss. Verity yearns to follow her dreams, but how can she jump ship now? The problem, and perhaps the answer, lies with Jude.

When disaster strikes and the family unravels, Verity must rally her sibling crew to keep the Nepenthe and all it symbolizes afloat. Sailing away from home, she discovers, is never easy—not if you ever hope to find your way back.

A History of What come next • Sylvain Neuvel • Tor.com • 304 pages • 2 février

Always run, never fight. 
Preserve the knowledge.
Survive at all costs.
Take them to the stars.

Over 99 identical generations, Mia’s family has shaped human history to push them to the stars, making brutal, wrenching choices and sacrificing countless lives. Her turn comes at the dawn of the age of rocketry. Her mission: to lure Wernher Von Braun away from the Nazi party and into the American rocket program, and secure the future of the space race. 

But Mia’s family is not the only group pushing the levers of history: an even more ruthless enemy lurks behind the scenes.

A darkly satirical first contact thriller, as seen through the eyes of the women who make progress possible and the men who are determined to stop them…

The Girl from the Channel Islands • Jenny Lecoat • Graydon House • 304 pages • 2 février

The year is 1940, and the world is torn apart by war. In June of that year, Hitler’s army captures the Channel Islands—the only part of Great Britain occupied by German forces. Abandoned by Mr. Churchill, forgotten by the Allies and cut off from all help, the Islands’ situation is increasingly desperate.

Hedy Bercu is a young Jewish girl who fled Vienna for the island of Jersey two years earlier during the Anschluss, only to find herself trapped by the Nazis once more—this time with no escape. Her only hope is to make herself invaluable to the Germans by working as a translator, hiding in plain sight with the help of her friends and community—and a sympathetic German officer. But as the war intensifies, rations dwindle and neighbors are increasingly suspicious of one another. Hedy’s life is in greater danger every day. It will take a definitive, daring act to save her from certain deportation to the concentration camps.

Where madness lies • Sylvia True • Top Hat Books • 344 pages • 1 février

Germany, 1934. Rigmor, a young Jewish woman is a patient at Sonnenstein, a premier psychiatric institution known for their curative treatments. But with the tide of eugenics and the Nazis’ rise to power, Rigmor is swept up in a campaign to rid Germany of the mentally ill.

USA, 1984. Sabine, battling crippling panic and depression commits herself to McLean Hospital, but in doing so she has unwittingly agreed to give up her baby.

Linking these two generations of women is Inga, who did everything in her power to help her sister, Rigmor. Now with her granddaughter, Sabine, Inga is given a second chance to free someone she loves from oppressive forces, both within and without.

Of Silver and Shadow • Jennifer Gruenke • Flux • 480 pages • 16 février

Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.

Muse • Britanny Cavallaro • Katherine Tegen Books • 352 pages • 2 février

The year is 1893, and war is brewing in the First American Kingdom. But Claire Emerson has a bigger problem. While her father prepares to reveal the mighty weapon he’s created to showcase the might of their province, St. Cloud, in the World’s Fair, Claire is crafting a plan to escape.

Claire’s father is a sought-after inventor, but he believes his genius is a gift, granted to him by his daughter’s touch. He’s kept Claire under his control for years. As St. Cloud prepares for war, Claire plans to claim her life for herself, even as her best friend, Beatrix, tries to convince her to stay and help with the growing resistance movement that wants to see a woman on the throne. At any cost.

When her father’s weapon fails to fire on the fair’s opening day, Claire is taken captive by Governor Remy Duchamp, St. Cloud’s young, untried ruler. Remy believes that Claire’s touch bestows graces he’s never had, and with his governing power weakening and many political rivals planning his demise, Claire might be his only and best ally. But the last thing that Claire has ever wanted is to be someone else’s muse. Still, affections can change as quickly as the winds of war. And Claire has a choice to make: Will she quietly remake her world from the shadows—or bring it down in flames?

All girls • Emily Layden • Saint Martin’s Press • 320 pages • 16 février

A keenly perceptive coming-of-age novel, All Girls captures one year at a prestigious New England prep school, as nine young women navigate their ambitions, friendships, and fears against the backdrop of a scandal the administration wants silenced.

But as the months unfold, and the school’s efforts to control the ensuing crisis fall short, these extraordinary girls are forced to discover their voices, and their power. A tender and unflinching portrait of modern adolescence told through the shifting perspectives of an unforgettable cast of female students, All Girls explores what it means to grow up in a place that promises you the world––when the world still isn’t yours for the taking.

The Kitchen Front • Jennifer Ryan • Ballantine Books • 416 pages • 23 février

Two years into WW2, Britain is feeling her losses; the Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is putting on a cooking contest–and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the contest presents a crucial chance to change their lives.

For a young widow, it’s a chance to pay off her husband’s debts and keep a roof over her children’s heads. For a kitchen maid, it’s a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For the lady of the manor, it’s a chance to escape her wealthy husband’s increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it’s a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession.

These four women are giving the competition their all -even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together serve only to break it apart? 

The nature of fragile things • Susan Meissner • Berkley Books • 384 • 2 février

April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed. 

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin’s silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin’s odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn’t right.

Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved.

The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear.

Bilan 2020

C’est avec aucun regret que je laisse 2020 se terminer. Comme pour beaucoup, cette année a été éprouvante à tout point de vue avec son lot de mauvaises nouvelles et de coups durs professionnels (je travaille dans la culture). Durant cette année, je me suis énormément réfugiée dans la lecture, à la fois pour faire passer le temps et supporter ces confinements qui m’ont pesé, je l’avoue. J’ai aussi repris en main de blog, abandonné pendant une bonne partie de 2019.

En janvier 2020, j’avais émis le souhait totalement fou et irréaliste de lire au moins 200 livres, soit le double de ce que je lis habituellement. Le pari n’a pas été si fou puisque j’ai lu très exactement 223 livres durant l’année, soit 72.205 pages. Merci les confinements !

2020 a été une année placée sous le signe des essais en histoire et en histoire de l’art. Ils représentent 28% de mes lectures. J’ai aussi redécouvert les classiques de la littérature française des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles avec Émile Zola, Voltaire et Rousseau et tête. Les classiques représentent 13,6% de ce que j’ai lu, soit 34 livres, dont une dizaine de classiques russes, allemands (dont le premier tome Guerre & Paix). Découverte de la littérature classique allemande avec un coup de coeur pour Les souffrances du jeune Werther.

Mon trois meilleures lectures de 2020

The Hollow Places de T. Kingfisher est un des meilleurs romans d’horreur que j’ai pu lire depuis bien longtemps. Je suis un petit en retard dans la publication de mes avis littéraires et celui-ci devrait arriver très prochainement. Je n’en dis donc pas plus. Mais c’est un de mes gros coups de coeur de l’année.

All the bad apples de Moïra Rowley-Doyle est un des livres qui m’a le plus marqué cette année : l’Irlande, la place de la femme, le réalisme magique qui se dégage de ce roman, une histoire de famille… J’ai adoré et je le relirai avec plaisir. Pour lire mon avis sur ce dernier, c’est par ici. [lien]

Enfin, The Year of the Witching d’Alexis Henderson… Un autre livre d’horreur, mais totalement différent du Kingfisher avec une société puritaine, des sorcières, des bains de sang… Gros coup de coeur pour ce premier roman d’horreur par une auteur à suivre. J’avais publié une chronique. [lien]

Mes trois plus grosses déceptions de 2020

Eoin Colfer signait son grand retour avec un roman pour les jeunes adultes, Highfire. J’ai adoré plus jeune les Artemis Fowl qui est une série avec laquelle j’ai grandi. Je n’ai pas du tout aimé ce nouveau livre. Pour savoir pourquoi je n’ai pas aimé cet ouvrage, voici mon billet. [lien]

Alors que je préparais cet article, je savais que Three Hours in Paris de Cara Black finirait dans mes déceptions de l’année. Je l’avais pourtant mis dans les sorties VO qui me tentaient, mais encore aujourd’hui, je ne sais pas si je dois rire ou pleurer devant ce livre… En tout cas, j’y ai lu la phrase la plus improbable de l’année. Ma chronique est à lire sur le blog. [lien]

Dernier livre dans mes déceptions, Cursed de Frank Miller et Thomas Wheeler. La série m’avait quelque peu laissé sur ma faim. J’avais envie d’avoir plus de développements et je me suis tournée vers le livre qui reste fidèle à la série… Et je n’y ai donc pas trouvé ce que j’espérais. J’avais publié un article sur le sujet. [lien]

J’en ai fini de mes coups de coeur et déceptions de l’année et j’avais envie de faire un tour d’horizons de mes résolutions prises début 2020 et si elles ont été tenues.

En premier lieu, je souhaitais lire une dizaine de pièces de théâtre. Même si j’en ai lu quelques unes, elles se comptent sur les doigts d’une seule main… Et encore. J’ai redécouvert quelques classiques comme Le mariage de Figaro de Beaumarchais ou Cyrano de Bergerac d’Edmond de Rostand. En revanche, j’ai réussi à lire les dix recueils de poésie avec autant des classiques que de la poésie contemporaines. J’ai relu Les Contemplations de Victor Hugo, Les fleurs du mal de Charles Baudelaire. J’ai dévoré le dernier recueil de Rupi Kaur, Home Body.

Je voulais également terminer quatre séries en cours. J’en ai fini trois, donc je suis plutôt contente.

J’espérai avoir une pile à lire à zéro à la fin du mois de décembre. Je termine l’année avec 21 livres qui attendent d’être lus. J’ai pas mal craqué la dernière semaine et j’ai fait quelques achats.

Le plus gros objectif de lecture que je m’étais fixée pour 2020 était de commencer et finir les Rougon-Macquart d’Émile Zola. J’en ai lu que cinq cette année, de La fortune des Rougon à La faute de l’abbé Mouret. La suite sera pour 2021, ayant déjà commandé le prochain, Son Excellence Eugène Rougon.

Une autre résolution, la dernière, était de lire une cinquantaine de romans ou essais en anglais. Record battu ! J’ai lu 86 romans en anglais. Je ne suis pas encore à 50/50, mais c’est tout de même un beau score. Je ne m’y attendais pas.

2020 n’a pas été une année aussi riche culturellement que je l’espérais, mais j’ai pu commencer l’année en allant aux ballets russes voir Casse-Noisette, qui est un de mes préférés (je vénère Tchaikovsky). Un merveilleux moment partagé avec l’une de mes petites soeurs. J’ai aussi visité quelques coins de la France que je ne connaissais pas, et notamment la Haute-Savoie. J’ai pu visiter le château de Montrottier, les Jardins Secrets de Vaulx, un endroit totalement hors du temps, le musée de la Résistance haut-savoyarde à Morette ainsi que la ville d’Annecy. En août, j’ai pris la direction d’Albi pour découvrir cette magnifique cité médiéval ainsi que les petites villes d’Ambialet et de Cordes-sur-Ciel. [article sur ces quelques jours dans le Tarn]

J’ai pu visiter le musée Toulouse-Lautrec ainsi que la rétrospective Christo et Jeanne-Claude au musée Würth d’Erstein. [compte-rendu de l’exposition]