I really liked the gorgeous wee hardback novel by Grégoire Delacourt, The List of My Desires (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), which has been skillfully translated from the original French by Anthea Bell.
It is the story of 47-year-old Jocelyne who owns a dressmaking and haberdashery shop in a small provincial French town. She is married to Jo (actually Jocelyn “My parents called me Jocelyne. There was one chance in millions that I’d marry a Jocelyn, and that one chance came my way.” and they have two kids and an everyday life. Dreaming of change and luxury, bored with her ordinary world, Jocelyne buys a lottery ticket. She wins. Millions. And doesn’t tell anyone.
Now able to change her life in any way she wants or can imagine, able to work through her list of desires, Jocelyn starts to notice the small pleasures, the deep, quiet joys of her ordinary life and the people who live it with her… until somebody finds the hidden lottery ticket.
This book has that particularly beautiful melancholy feeling that is familiar from French films, the story is clever and surprising, and the cover is just charming – altogether most satisfying.