Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
Maybe we can all satisfy our yearnings for France, until we get there again.
é a French author. The novel is set in Paris. The main character, Edith, is a middle class French mother. She agrees to hire the building supervisor's mother to do her ironing three hours each week. The woman in her 60s, Fadila, is from Morocco. From the beginning, Edith is annoyed with Fadila because she doesn't keep regular hours. Soon, Edith learns that Fadila never learned to read or write, either in Arabic or French.
Before long, she is bringing letters, often still sealed. Bills, summons, advertisements, she can't tell them apart, any form of mail frightens her. She has to get someone else to read it to her. "I'm stupid," she says. She doesn't know how to sign her name: she just scribbles a little zigzag.I don't know much about translating, but I'm assuming the person who translated this novel followed the writing style of the French author. It is simple and direct. Nothing superfluous was added to this book. Edith soon gets to know Fadila much better as she attempts to teach her how to read and write. As they work on the letters and words, Edith becomes aware of the very different life that Fadila lives right there in Paris. Her apartment in a tiny, airless room where she lies awake at night feeling claustrophobic. Her adult children take the money she earns ironing and rarely spend time with her. Edith and her reading lessons help fill the gap.
I can't really explain why I enjoyed this book. There were no flashy French meals described or rich descriptions of Paris. Instead, it was the everyday French culture that I enjoyed visiting, and like Edith, I learned about the immigrant culture there as well. The book caught my attention and I finished it pretty quickly. I'd recommend this book.
This book also counts for my book challenge, Books on France by Emma at Words and Peace.