Sunday, 27 October 2013

La liste de mes envies (My Wish List) by Grégoire Delacourt - European Reading Challenge

In the European Reading Challenge I have said I will read five books from five different European countries. This is the first one and as you see it is a French book (although I read it in Swedish, my French is not that good). This is about Jocelyne an ordinary French woman or any woman. Her life did not exactly turned out the way she dreamed of. She is living in a small French town, married to Jocelyn and have two children (one child died at birth). She has a small haberdashery and she also has a blog about sewing, knitting and similar handicraft. Nothing much happens in her life. The prose is very calm, down to earth and you can feel the eventless life slowly pacing on. The neighbouring shop is run by her friends which are also twin sisters. They always play the lotto and convinces Jocelyne to play as well.

She pays 2 euros for a lotto shine from the machine and wins 18 million euro (or 18 547 301 euro and 28 cents)! She is shocked and doesn't know what to do. She receives a check from the lotto company and hides it in a shoe in her wardrobe and says nothing to her husband or anyone else. She continues her life and you follow her reflections of the past and present.  She considers that she has everything that she needs and she has a loving husband (at least these days), two wonderful children, her shop and her blog which has become very popular and she can now earn money also on the blog. She is afraid that if she tells her husband about the money her whole life will change. The only luxury she involves in is to write a wish list of things to buy. Even the wish list is very moderate and one easily realises that she could almost fulfil the list without the lottery win. I will not reveal the story any further since this would spoil the fun and the story does take some unexpected turns.

Some years ago I read in a Swedish magazine an article on people who have won a lot of money, what they did with it and what happened to their lives. Most people paid off their debts and then bought either a car, boat or any other vehicle of their dreams. However, 80% of all the people had spent all the money within five years! The other 20% had also paid off debts, treated themselves to nice purchases or taken a nice holiday but for the rest they invested the money into something and kept up their normal life style.

Well, think of what you would do and compare to what happens in the book. In the end I think most people agree that money does not make you happy but it can give you a comfortable life and you can help other people.

That is my third book for the European Reading Challenge. You can find the list of the other books here

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