Sorties VO • Novembre 2021

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

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

Sometimes the dead reach back…

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

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

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

Do you think you’re safe?

You’re wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 5 Wednesday • Halfway there!

Je reviens avec le Top 5 Wednesday (et un article en retard). Les thèmes de Juillet ne m’ont guère inspiré, contrairement à ceux d’août. Le premier est Halway there! Il consiste à présenter les cinq meilleurs livres publiés depuis le début d’année. Je ne les ai pas forcément rangés dans un ordre d’appréciation.

Don’t tell a soul – Kristen Miller

Goodreads

J’ai adoré ce roman d’un bout à l’autre. L’ambiance est parfaite, bien dosée avec le suspens. Ce dernier est présent et parfaitement maîtrisé. Impossible de mettre le livre de côté pendant quelques secondes.

Sistersong • Lucy Holland

Goodreads

Un très bon roman sur trois soeurs très différentes. Des jalousies, des drames, le tout sous fond de Bretagne historique et mythique… J’ai vraiment beaucoup aimé et j’ai vraiment envie de lire d’autres ouvrages dans cette veine.

The lost village • Camilla Sten

Goodreads

Un thriller psychologique avec énormément de suspens et de tension. Il est haletant et un vrai page-turner. Il est juste dommage que la fin ne soit pas à la hauteur de mes espérances.

Near the bone • Christina Henry

Goodreads

Christina Henry est une de mes auteurs préférés et chacune de ses nouvelle publications finies entre mes mains. J’avais très envie de découvrir celui-ci et je ne suis pas déçue. Encore un livre avec une ambiance sombre, des passages pas toujours facile. Un autre mythe est exploré.

The Lights of Prague • Nicole Jarvis

Goodreads

Je découvre une nouvelle auteur avec ce roman. Prague est une ville que je rêve de pouvoir visiter, et encore plus après cette lecture. J’ai adoré l’univers, l’ambiance et les personnages. Je serai bien partante pour un deuxième tome.

Sorties VO • Janvier 2021

Après un mois de Décembre un peu léger, Janvier semble être tout le contraire. De nombreuses publications alléchantes sont proposées. N’hésitez pas à me dire en commentaire lesquelles vous font le plus envie !

Don’t tell a soul • Kirsten Miller • Delacorte Press • 384 pages • 26 janvier

People say the house is cursed.
It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims.
In Louth, they’re called the Dead Girls.

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.

Esnared in the wolf lair : Inside the 1944 Plot to Kill Hitler and the Ghost Children of His Revenge • Ann Bausum • National Geographic Kids • 144 pages • 12 janvier

« I’ve come on orders from Berlin to fetch the three children. »–Gestapo agent, August 24, 1944
With those chilling words Christa von Hofacker and her younger siblings found themselves ensnared in a web of family punishment designed to please one man-Adolf Hitler. The furious dictator sought merciless revenge against not only Christa’s father and the other Germans who had just tried to overthrow his government. He wanted to torment their relatives, too, regardless of age or stature. All of them. Including every last child.

The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames • Justine Cowan • Harper • 320 pages • 12 janvier

Justine had always been told that her mother came from royal blood. The proof could be found in her mother’s elegance, her uppercrust London accent—and in a cryptic letter hinting at her claim to a country estate. But beneath the polished veneer lay a fearsome, unpredictable temper that drove Justine from home the moment she was old enough to escape. Years later, when her mother sent her an envelope filled with secrets from the past, Justine buried it in the back of an old filing cabinet.

Overcome with grief after her mother’s death, Justine found herself drawn back to that envelope. Its contents revealed a mystery that stretched back to the early years of World War II and beyond, into the dark corridors of the Hospital for the Maintenance and Education of Exposed and Deserted Young Children. Established in the eighteenth century to raise “bastard” children to clean chamber pots for England’s ruling class, the institution was tied to some of history’s most influential figures and events. From its role in the development of solitary confinement and human medical experimentation to the creation of the British Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts, its impact on Western culture continues to reverberate. It was also the environment that shaped a young girl known as Dorothy Soames, who bravely withstood years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a sadistic headmistress—a resilient child who dreamed of escape as German bombers rained death from the skies.

The Children’s Train • Viola Ardone • HarperVia • 320 pages • 12 janvier

Though Mussolini and the fascists have been defeated, the war has devastated Italy, especially the south. Seven-year-old Amerigo lives with his mother Antonietta in Naples, surviving on odd jobs and his wits like the rest of the poor in his neighborhood. But one day, Amerigo learns that a train will take him away from the rubble-strewn streets of the city to spend the winter with a family in the north, where he will be safe and have warm clothes and food to eat. 

Together with thousands of other southern children, Amerigo will cross the entire peninsula to a new life. Through his curious, innocent eyes, we see a nation rising from the ashes of war, reborn. As he comes to enjoy his new surroundings and the possibilities for a better future, Amerigo will make the heartbreaking choice to leave his mother and become a member of his adoptive family.

In the Garden of Spite • Camilla Bruce • Berkley • 480 pages • 19 janvier

They whisper about her in Chicago. Men come to her with their hopes, their dreams–their fortunes. But no one sees them leave. No one sees them at all after they come to call on the Widow of La Porte. The good people of Indiana may have their suspicions, but if those fools knew what she’d given up, what was taken from her, how she’d suffered, surely they’d understand. Belle Gunness learned a long time ago that a woman has to make her own way in this world. That’s all it is. A bloody means to an end. A glorious enterprise meant to raise her from the bleak, colorless drudgery of her childhood to the life she deserves. After all, vermin always survive.

The House on Vesper Sands • Paraic O’Donnell • Tin House Books • 408 pages • 12 janvier

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.

The Historians • Cecilia Eckbäck • Harper Perennial • 464 pages • 12 janvier

It is 1943 and Sweden’s neutrality in the war is under pressure. Laura Dahlgren, the bright, young right-hand of the chief negotiator to Germany, is privy to these tensions, even as she tries to keep her head down in the mounting fray. However, when Laura’s best friend from university, Britta, is discovered murdered in cold blood, Laura is determined to find the killer.

Prior to her death, Britta sent a report on the racial profiling in Scandinavia to the secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jens Regnell. In the middle of negotiating a delicate alliance with Hitler and the Nazis, Jens doesn’t understand why he’s received the report. When the pursuit of Britta’s murderer leads Laura to his door, the two join forces to get at the truth.

But as Jens and Laura attempt to untangle the mysterious circumstance surrounding Britta’s death, they only become more mired in a web of lies and deceit. This trail will lead to a conspiracy that could topple their nation’s identity—a conspiracy some in Sweden will try to keep hidden at any cost.

Faye, Faraway • Helen Fischer • Gallery Books • 304 pages • 26 janvier

Faye is a thirty-seven-year-old happily married mother of two young daughters. Every night, before she puts them to bed, she whispers to them: “You are good, you are kind, you are clever, you are funny.” She’s determined that they never doubt for a minute that their mother loves them unconditionally. After all, her own mother Jeanie had died when she was only seven years old and Faye has never gotten over that intense pain of losing her.

But one day, her life is turned upside down when she finds herself in 1977, the year before her mother died. Suddenly, she has the chance to reconnect with her long-lost mother, and even meets her own younger self, a little girl she can barely remember. Jeanie doesn’t recognize Faye as her daughter, of course, even though there is something eerily familiar about her…

As the two women become close friends, they share many secrets—but Faye is terrified of revealing the truth about her identity. Will it prevent her from returning to her own time and her beloved husband and daughters? What if she’s doomed to remain in the past forever? Faye knows that eventually she will have to choose between those she loves in the past and those she loves in the here and now, and that knowledge presents her with an impossible choice.

The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh • Molly Greeley • William Morrow • 368 pages • 5 janvier

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.

Last Garden in England • Julia Kelly • Gallery Books • 368 pages • 12 janvier

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades. 

The Divines • Ellie Eaton • William Morrow • 320 pages • 19 janvier

The girls of St John the Divine, an elite English boarding school, were notorious for flipping their hair, harassing teachers, chasing boys, and chain-smoking cigarettes. They were fiercely loyal, sharp-tongued, and cuttingly humorous in the way that only teenage girls can be. For Josephine, now in her thirties, the years at St John were a lifetime ago. She hasn’t spoken to another Divine in fifteen years, not since the day the school shuttered its doors in disgrace.

Yet now Josephine inexplicably finds herself returning to her old stomping grounds. The visit provokes blurry recollections of those doomed final weeks that rocked the community. Ruminating on the past, Josephine becomes obsessed with her teenage identity and the forgotten girls of her one-time orbit. With each memory that resurfaces, she circles closer to the violent secret at the heart of the school’s scandal. But the more Josephine recalls, the further her life unravels, derailing not just her marriage and career, but her entire sense of self. 

Our darkest night • Jennifer Robson • William Morrow • 384 pages • 5 janvier

It is the autumn of 1943, and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian Jews like the Mazin family. With Nazi Germany now occupying most of her beloved homeland, and the threat of imprisonment and deportation growing ever more certain, Antonina Mazin has but one hope to survive—to leave Venice and her beloved parents and hide in the countryside with a man she has only just met.

Nico Gerardi was studying for the priesthood until circumstances forced him to leave the seminary to run his family’s farm. A moral and just man, he could not stand by when the fascists and Nazis began taking innocent lives. Rather than risk a perilous escape across the mountains, Nina will pose as his new bride. And to keep her safe and protect secrets of his own, Nico and Nina must convince prying eyes they are happily married and in love.

But farm life is not easy for a cultured city girl who dreams of becoming a doctor like her father, and Nico’s provincial neighbors are wary of this soft and educated woman they do not know. Even worse, their distrust is shared by a local Nazi official with a vendetta against Nico. The more he learns of Nina, the more his suspicions grow—and with them his determination to exact revenge.

As Nina and Nico come to know each other, their feelings deepen, transforming their relationship into much more than a charade. Yet both fear that every passing day brings them closer to being torn apart . . .

Lore • Alexandra Bracken • Disney Hyperion • 480 pages • 5 janvier

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.

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Une gouvernante est engagée pour veiller sur deux orphelins vivant dans un manoir isolé en pleine campagne. Peu à peu, d’effrayantes apparitions viennent la hanter. 

Avec : Victoria Pedretti ; Henry Thomas ; Benjamin Evan Ainsworth ; Amelie Bea Smirth ; Oliver Jackson-Cohen…

•••

Netflix nous avait régalé avec sa série The Haunting of Hill House, adaptée du roman de Shirley Jackson. La plateforme réitère ce succès avec The Haunting of Bly Manor, une autre adaptation. Mais cette fois-ci, c’est Le Tour d’écrou de Henry James . Totale découverte, pour ma part, car je n’ai jamais lu le livre. J’y avais placé beaucoup d’espoir, ayant adoré la première série. Celle-ci est très bien, mais je l’ai trouvé en-dessous de The Haunting of Hill House.

La première chose qui me vient à l’esprit est que The Haunting of Bly Manor prend peut-être moins de risques au niveau de la réalisation. Il y a certes un épisode entièrement tourné en noir et blanc, rendant hommage aux films noirs hollywoodiens. Il s’agit d’un des épisodes que j’ai le plus apprécié de la saison, mais il n’a pas le même impact que celui dans The Haunting of Hill House, tourné dans un plan-séquence à couper le souffle. La tension tout au long de ce dernier est juste incroyable. Globalement, c’est ce que je reproche à cette deuxième adaptation : le manque de tension. Il y a même eu quelques épisodes où je me suis un brin ennuyée.

À vrai dire, cela vient aussi du fait que certaines révélations se devinent rapidement et notamment sur certains points que je pensais cruciaux. Il y a un épisode où il y a une première réponse qui est donnée : pourquoi le jeune garçon, Miles, aussi dérangeant. Malheureusement, pour moi en tout cas, tous les aspects annexes prennent sens et les uns ou deux épisodes après n’apportent pas de gros rebondissements. Ce sont plus des épisodes où les backgrounds des différents personnages est exploré. Ce n’est pas inintéressant, car ils sont tous attachants et profondément humains. Ils m’ont tous touché, même Peter qui est censé être le méchant de l’histoire. Mais ma préférence va pour Anna et Owen. Ce sont eux qui m’ont véritablement fait pleurer.

The Haunting of Bly Manor s’intéresse principalement aux relations humaines, notamment à l’amour sous toutes ses formes : l’amour familial et fraternel, l’amour interdit, l’amitié profonde, l’amour déçu, le destructeur… C’est véritablement le fil conducteur de la série. De ce point de vue, elle est parfaite et elle ne tombe jamais dans des clichés. Les acteurs sont tous excellents, mais une mention toute particulière pour les deux jeunes acteurs de Miles et Flora. Tout au long de la série, ils ont été tour à tour charmants, profondément dérangeants. Ils m’ont souvent donné des frissons. J’ai aussi apprécié de voir des acteurs qui étaient déjà là pour The Haunting of Hill House.

Ma chronique peut donner l’impression que je n’ai pas aimé la série, mais ce n’est pas le cas. Elle m’a tout de même beaucoup plu, même si ce n’est pas le coup de coeur que j’attendais. J’ai peut-être eu moins peur, car la série a moins de suspens et de tension. Cependant, sur le point de vue de l’émotion, il y a eu de magnifiques épisodes. Je suis également impatiente de savoir si Netflix retentera prochainement l’expérience avec une autre mini-série dans cette lignée. Elles sont absolument parfaites pour le mois d’octobre.

HERBERT James • Magic Cottage (1986)

« Nous pensions avoir trouvé le refuge idéal, un cottage perdu au coeur de la forêt. Il était sans doute un peu délabré, mais tout à fait charmant et si paisible… C’est là que la magie a commencé. Midge et moi, nous avons atteint des sommets de créativité dans nos domaines respectifs : elle a peint des toiles extraordinaires et je me suis mis à jouer de la guitare comme un dieu ! Quant à l’amour qui nous unissait, c’est devenu la magie suprême… Mais, comme toute médaille a son revers, le cottage avait lui aussi son mauvais côté. Et c’est là qu’intervient la mauvaise magie… Aujourd’hui encore, j’ai de la peine à croire que des choses aussi terrifiantes aient pu arriver. Et pourtant… »

•••

Le mois d’Octobre vient de se terminer et Halloween est déjà derrière nous. Pourtant, mon envie de lectures terrifiantes, qui m’empêchent de dormir la nuit est encore là pour quelques jours encore. Noël prendra bientôt le relais. Je suis relativement exigeante en ce qui concerne les livres d’horreur avec qui je n’ai pas toujours facilement peur, même quand j’ai envie de frissonner, de me cacher sous la couette. En revanche, je ne peux tout simplement pas regarder des films d’horreur sans être traumatisée pendant plusieurs jours… C’est donc avec plaisir que je me rabats sur les œuvres littéraires. Cette année, je tenais à essayer un ouvrage de James Herbert qui est connu pour être un maître de l’horreur anglais. Les divers avis étaient globalement bons, mais, malheureusement, je suis très déçue par ma première immersion dans l’univers de l’auteur.

Tout simplement parce que je m’attendais à mieux. J’avais à l’esprit quelque chose de beaucoup plus sinistre concernant les romans de James Herbert. De plus, le résumé avait ce je-ne-sais-quoi qui avait capturé mon attention. Je voulais savoir de quoi il en retournait exactement et, a priori, l’intrigue semblait bien partie pour me plaire et, pourquoi pas, être un coup de cœur. 

J’ai un petit faible pour les sombres secrets qu’une maison peut receler, cette vie propre qui l’anime. C’est souvent le point de départ de nombreuses histoires qui sont parmi les plus épouvantables (Amytiville en est un très bon exemple ou Poltergeist Autant de films que je n’ai jamais osé voir, d’ailleurs). J’étais curieuse de savoir quels cadavres dans le placard Gramary pouvait receler, cacher. Toutefois, la vérité est que je n’ai pas eu la patience d’attendre pour le découvrir, car je n’ai pas terminé Magic Cottage. J’ai dû lire les deux tiers… Mais pour une bonne raison.

Durant ces quelques pages, à aucun moment, je n’ai eu une vision de pure horreur de ce qui pouvait arriver ou d’un déchaînement de forces plus ou moins obscures, de noirs secrets. Je ne me suis pas dit que ce n’était pas le genre de livres à lire avant de filer au lit… Il ne se passait pas grand chose de véritablement intéressant ou d’effrayant. L’intrigue semblait être une succession de moments dignes de contes de fées, saupoudrée de la démonstration du bonheur conjugal. Je n’ai pas pu m’empêcher de faire une comparaison avec le Disney Blanche Neige et les Sept Nains avec la présence d’un grand nombre d’animaux autour et dans la maison, qui tournent autour de Midge. C’est son mari, Mike, qui relève les petites choses bizarres voire angoissantes (pour lui, uniquement). Ces petites phrases éparses, juste parfois des petits indices, auraient dû créer une ambiance un peu différente, plus oppressante. Plus encore, n’auraient-elles pas dû réveiller ma curiosité, mon attention ?

En tout cas, en ce qui me concerne, l’auteur n’a pas réussi à me faire frissonner. Ces petites incursions dans un autre monde n’ont pas fait leur effet. Je suppose que l’intention de James Herbert était de créer une attente psychologique pour le lecteur qui se pose les mêmes questions que le narrateur, Mike : et si ce n’était qu’une hallucination ? La magie existe-t-elle vraiment ou existe-t-il une explication logique ? Pourquoi Midge semble-t-elle avoir changé ? Pour moi, ça n’a pas pris. Je n’ai pas ressenti cette attente qui est parfois plus terrible que le dénouement final (sauf peut-être dans Hex de Thomas Olde Heuvelt, enfin traduit en français, où l’attente équivaut le final. Si vous aimez vous faire peur, jetez un oeil sur celui-ci…. Impossible de fermer l’œil pendant quelques jours après l’avoir découvert). Herbert n’a pas réussi à me faire tourner les pages de son Magic Cottage. Ma référence en la matière reste La Dame en noir de Susan Hill. Si l’adaptation est dans la pure veine des films d’auteur (oui, je l’ai vu), j’ai tremblé d’une manière totalement différente avec le livre où Hill a vraiment su créer une ambiance sombre, torturée, pesante et… très glauque alors qu’en définitif, il y a très peu de rebondissements tout au long du roman. James Herbert n’a pas eu ce talent. 

Au final, Magic Cottage m’a laissé sur ma faim, car, au lieu d’y être de plus en plus passionnée, ma curiosité s’est émoussée progressivement, même en apprenant que leurs voisins faisaient partie d’un groupe aux idées particulières. En plus d’une attente psychologique qui tombe à plat, arrivée aux deux tiers du roman, je n’avais toujours pas une idée claire de l’intrigue que l’auteur déroulait sous mes yeux. Il n’y avait toujours pas de rebondissements, de révélations qui changeaient tout. Rien qu’une publicité pour le bonheur à deux (avec quelques phrases un brin sexiste de la part du narrateur) et des envolées lyriques, pour la vie à la campagne proche de la nature, pour la prévention contre les drogues… Mais l’intrigue, le fil rouge, l’élément déclencheur… Je les ai attendus et un peu trop longtemps à mon goût, donnant aucun rythme au livre. Ce fut une lecture plate et, oui, je l’affirme, ennuyeuse. Je n’ai pas eu le courage de voir si Magic Cottage s’améliorait en allant vers la fin. 

Ce n’était pas la lecture terrifiante et parfaite que j’espérais pour Halloween. Pourtant, Le secret de Crickley Hall me tente toujours autant, même si le résumé laisse penser à une variation de celui que je viens de lire. Les avis semblent aussi dire qu’il est bien meilleur que Magic Cottage. Une deuxième chance peut être envisagée, mais programmée pour l’année prochaine ! En attendant, je continue ma recherche du livre qui me fera trembler pour Halloween cette année. Si vous êtes dans ce cas également, je réitère ma recommandation : Hex de Thomas Olde Heuvelt qui vous tiendra éveillé(e)s toute la nuit avec son ambiance malsaine. 

EnregistrerEnregistrer