All Human Wisdom (Les Enfants du désastre #2) by Pierre Lemaitre. Translated by Frank Wynne

Published: 2021 (English translation) First published in French as “Couleurs de l’incendie” 2018 1. First lines 2. Cover: MacLehose Press 3. Vintage couple [Public Domain] via Pixabay 4. Top hat, walking stick [Public Domain] via Pixabay 5. Silhouette of a Young Man Before an Open Window [Public Domain via Wikimedia

It is 1927, and rich French banker Marcel Pericourt, has died. His daughter, Madeleine and young son Paul attend the funeral, but not everything goes according to plan, and Madeleine’s life changes completely. She blames herself first, but then decides that others have caused her misfortune, and sets out to exact revenge.

“All human wisdom is contained in these two words – Wait and Hope.”

BOOK SNAPS: The reader is led along a winding path of complex plot twists with myriad characters all playing a part.

  • European Literature Network : “Best, therefore, to take historical accuracy with a pinch of salt, savour the drama, suspend your disbelief where necessary and revel in a thoroughly engaging and exuberant French affair.”
  • ANZ Litlovers Blog: “Like its big, baggy fore-runners in Victorian narrative, there are secrets, betrayals, and subterfuges along with lively plot twists and reversals. There are numerous characters all conspiring against each other, all in the looming shadow of the coming debacle. Does—should? a world war dwarf their concerns? Where does the last book of the trilogy go from here?”

Author: Pierre Lemaitre (Author profile at Hachette)

Quotes:

“Making his fortune had been exhausting, but nothing could be more draining than bankruptcy.”

“The conversation followed its usual course: first politics, followed by the economy, business, and lastly, women. The factor common to all of these subjects was money. Politics determined whether it was possible to earn money; the economy, how much one might earn; industry, the manner of earning it; and women, the manner of spending it. The annual gathering was both a dinner between brothers-in-arms and a contest between peacocks. Everyone came to strut and preen.”


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