Forgotten on Sunday

An unlikely friendship is forged between two women born generations apart in Forgotten on Sunday, a profound, emotionally complex novel written by Valérie Perrin and translated from the French by Hildegard Serle.

For years, 21-year-old Justine Neige has lived in Milly, a small French village, while happily working as a nursing assistant at the Hydrangeas, the local retirement home. There, Justine is most intrigued by Hélène, an enigmatic, 96-year-old nicknamed "The Beach Lady." Drawn to Hélène and her stories, Justine willingly collects and records her remembrances in a notebook at the behest of Hélène's grandson. In doing so, Justine uncovers details of Hélène's long, fascinating life that include romantic passions; a bistro job where she catered to the poet Baudelaire; and the harrowing atrocities of World War II. These incredibly moving stories of love, loss, and forgiveness awaken Justine's desires: "I feel nostalgic, nostalgic for what I've not yet lived." These feelings deepen when anonymous, mysterious phone calls are made from the Hydrangeas that falsely notify relatives that their loved ones have died. The contacts have either forgotten or refuse to keep in touch with the geriatrics; the calls finally force folks to visit. As a police investigation ensues, Justine probes the history of her own family--and questions are suddenly raised regarding the long-ago tragic car accident that claimed her parents' lives.

Perrin (Fresh Water for Flowers) skillfully juggles the storylines of Justine and Hélène, heightening the drama of each with unexpected revelations. Delicate plot points--infused with elements of historical fiction juxtaposed against contemporary themes--will keep readers charmed and deeply engrossed. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Powered by: Xtenit