With Lucinda Riley’s Cosmic Sisters

“I will always remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the day I learned of my father’s death. » Each volume of the Seven Sisters (another name for the constellation of the Pleiades) tells the fate of each of them, begins in the same place (in the childhood home, Atlantis, a castle on the shores of Lake Geneva) , and by this same sentence. Maia, Ally, Star, CeCe, Tiggy, Electra and “the missing” were all adopted from all over the world by a mysterious billionaire whom they affectionately called Pa Salt. When he dies, he leaves each a clue to their origin, as well as an armillary stone on which are engraved the exact coordinates of where he collected them. The “teaser”, alone, already evokes Homer, Dan Brown and Louisa May Alcott who would have been invited to a party at Downton Abbey.

A solid mythological framework, a family history without borders, a thousand secrets and as many ghosts in the cupboards, great sorrows and just enough feminism to reach the majority of readers – who are female readers. The Lucinda Riley formula is magical, her historical-literary and sentimental remix of the Pleiades is a comet that has not finished shining in the world editorial sky: 7 sisters (which bear the name of the main stars of the constellation), 7 volumes , 37 translations, 20 million books sold, an adaptation in progress, and the last part, The Disappeared Sister, which has just been released in the Pocket Book, deposited like a pearl by the first waves of summer§

“The Seven Sisters”, by Lucinda Riley, 7 volumes (The Pocket Book, around 700 p. and €9 per volume).

A family story, always, but in a style (initially) more “nature writing”, Norman Maclean (And in the middle runs a river), with a bit of Dallas, your pitiless universe, but in an old horror pulp version (Stephen King is the first fan) and, above all, a lot of a southern Twin Peaks. Michael McDowell died at the age of 49, in 1999. The script for Beetlejuice, by Burton, is him. That of The Nightmare Before Christmas – although he did not complete the project – is him too. He has written about thirty novels, but his chief work is this Blackwater, published almost forty years ago in the United States, hitherto unpublished in France (God Save Monsieur Toussaint Louverture). A hometown of Alabama irrigated by dangerous rivers, a not very ordinary wealthy family, stories of love and hate, power struggles, sudden deaths, hallucinations, a little dread and, above all, this young beauty with ocher hair, appeared one day of flood, and which comes to knock down the fragile balance in place. The six volumes of the saga, directly published in pocket format (according to the wish of its author, whose sole ambition was to entertain readers), are moreover true works of art: they look like tattoos. Intense, fascinating, Blackwater bursts through the pages. If your bookseller hasn’t told you about it, let him change his job again!§

“Blackwater”, by Michael McDowell, 6 volumes (Monsieur Toussaint Louverture, approximately 250 p. and €8.40 per volume).

After two years of pandemic punishment, it is the great return of the International Pocket Book Fair, which will be held on June 25 and 26, place des Marronniers, in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés. Launched in 2009 by Gérard Collard and his friend Jean-Edgar Casel, from the bookstore La Griffe noire, this festival, co-organized by the city, accessible and free, brings together those who read and those who do not read in a simple and good kid. Their credo? Impertinence, singularity, conviviality. Their bet? Show audiences of all ages and from all walks of life that one can, without complexes, immerse themselves in Franck Thilliez’s thrillers and just after in Nicolas II’s Diary with Jean-Christophe Buisson, cheer up with Virginie Grimaldi and discuss political news with Édouard Philippe and Gilles Boyer or masterpieces and literature with Sébastien Le Fol. Prizes, round tables, workshops, dedications, sponsors (this year, the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg and the Ukrainian author Andreï Kourkov), readings galore… 250 authors (Camille Laurens, Tonino Benacquista, Sorj Chalandon, Serge Joncour, Sandrine Collette, Benjamin Dierstein, Olivier Norek, among others) will parade over the weekend, which has become an unmissable event in the literary spring.


Ireland Susannah/Eyevine/ABACA – DR/Ed. Mr. Toussaint Louverture