Clélie, 69, a young, optimistic pensioner, has worked for 40 years at the Destempes family bakery, wich has now been taken over by the daughter, Teresa. But the situation is serious: Colline, Teresa's 9-year-old daughter, is unhappy because her parents are getting divorced. Clélie decides to spend the summer with Colline, to give new heart to the little girl who wants to "have an operation to remove her feelings" so that she can stop suffering.
She introduces her to her neighbours and friends, including Théodore, philosopher and wise man, and Rose, a retired French teacher. Colline also makes friends with Gabriel, Rose's grandson. They all rally round to help her without hiding the difficulties of life and without shying away from giving - in their own way - honest answers to her questions.
This tender, moving novel relates the story of an inter-generational friendship and raises questions thaht concern us all; what value do we want to pass on the younger generation ? How does one find one's place in the world ?How to change it for the better, from wherever we are ?
Ondine Khayat has published five novels, including Stand up, oldies ! (2014) currently being made into a film. A socially engaged young woman, fascinated by psychology, she has also trained as a counsellor and therapist using the person-centred approach of humanist psychologist Carl Rogers.
Publication date: April 2016
Rights available: world