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Book cover of Ladivine
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Coup de coeur
Coup de coeur (French Literature), by Ella
A mesmerising tale of family trauma that follows three generations of women navigating deceit, violence and shame. Clarisse leads a double life and her mother Ladivine knows nothing of her husband and daughter and they equally know nothing of Ladivine. NDiaye's prose is harrowing and often eerie, as she explores Clarisse's reckoning with herself against a backdrop of lies, guilt and social barriers. This exquisite storytelling will stay with you for years to come.

Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2016

Clarisse Rivière's life is shaped by a refusal to admit to her husband Richard and to her daughter Ladivine that her mother is a poor black housekeeper. Instead, weighed down by guilt, she pretends to be an orphan, visiting her mother in secret and telling no-one of her real identity as Malinka, daughter of Ladivine Sylla.

In time, her lies turn against her. Richard leaves Clarisse, frustrated by the unbridgeable, indecipherable gulf between them. Clarisse is devastated, but finds solace in a new man, Freddy Moliger, who is let into the secret about her mother, and is even introduced to her.

But Ladivine, her daughter, who is now married herself, cannot shake a bad feeling about her mother's new lover, convinced that he can bring only chaos and pain into her life. When she is proved right, in the most tragic circumstances, the only comfort the family can turn to requires a leap of faith beyond any they could have imagined.

Centred around three generations of women, whose seemingly cursed lineage is defined by the weight of origins, the pain of alienation and the legacy of shame, Ladivine is a beguiling story of secrets, lies, guilt and forgiveness by one of Europe's most unique literary voices.

Translated from the French by Jordan Stump

Translated by Jordan Stump
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Binding: Paperback
Publication date: 06 Apr 2017
Dimensions: 129 x 197 x 21 mm
ISBN: 9781848666047