Here’s our First Book Review, One Summer Later.

Note: Bilingual piece in English and French.

Summer is always the season for good books. Before this one begins, we’d like to present one of a few groundbreaking beautiful reads from last summer. In France, women made headlines, like this book:

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La Tresse, France’s #1 summer 2018 read. Photo ©le_chah_errant

Yes. La Tresse. In English, it translates to The Braid. At the center is hair. At the core is the intertwined story of three very different women: the young woman stuck with the family business; the corporate lawyer faced with a huge decision of priorities; and the mother living in misery and deep poverty concerned for her daughter’s future. What is important here is not just their individual dilemmas, but their strength to rise above the obstacles in their own way as well as their decisions, life-changing, somewhat dangerous in its quiet way.

A scriptwriter, Laetitia Colombani weaves a simple yet intricate plotline for this first novel. The stories of the three women don’t cross paths until after the climax of the book itself. Even the center topic, hair that is, is not really the center at all. It is simply background music. Background music, which gets louder by the page. When they all connect, like puzzle pieces, at the end, it becomes very much THE center.

Colombani takes into account the situations, which leave us on the brink of strength, despair, and longing.

Longing: the life each one leaves behind for a new one.

Despair: the avalanche each one endures.

And yes, before you complain, despair is a good thing. Emotions are natural, completely normal. They bring out the deepest part of you. And that is exactly what brings out the strength. In French, we call it “la force“.

Endurance. Resilience. The capacity to push not backward but forward. And that is exactly what these three women end up doing.

It shows, how, despite our cultural, social, and geographical differences, women are faced with the same questions every day. The responses these three have are representations of what women all over the world do every day, day in, day out, at all hours of the month.

Be in a position of weakness. It’s ok. You have a choice. You still have a choice.

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Main points and their symbolism. Graphic ©BDLChahine via ©Canva

Et tout en écrivant sur ces trois femmes, Colombani signe une gemme. Elle nous fait voyager à travers les 6 sens confondus et trois continents très distincts et différents l’un avec les autres. Ce n’est qu’un tableau, le monde, mais c’est aussi une pièce, où les personnes se passent dans la rue en se saluant mais jamais pour dire bonjour car elles ne se connaissent pas.

La destination est l’horizon tout comme nos voyages personnels à la recherche de soi: la confiance; les obstacles; les décisions; les casse-têtes; le questionnement de notre place en temps que femmes; l’amour. Surtout l’amour et l’amour décliné dans toutes ses définitions possibles et impossibles.

Nous sommes des femmes. Notre force est là, même pendant les moments les plus difficiles. Et tout cela est ce qui fait de La Tresse un roman et un mémorandum. Écrit par une femme, l’histoire des femmes, et une réalité vécue par de nombreuses entre nous.

Our strength is present even throughout the most difficult moments. La Tresse is a testament to all this: written by a woman, the story of women, and the reality endured by many of us.

 

This is our pick of the month before the summer begins. And yes, it’s the first one.

Enjoy 🙂 📚

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