I think that this novel about a group of four unlikely misfits that become friends is both profound and touching. Camille is an anorexic and lonely artist. Philibert her intellectual and aristocratic neighbour is the one who initially rescues Camille from herself. Franck a talented chef is Philibert’s lodger. The final member of the quartet is Franck’s aged Grandmother Paulette. The group learn to slowly cope with life together through the redemptive power of their various forms of love for each other. Each one of them discovers that they need something that is missing from their lives, whether it is food, friendship or love.
I liked all four protagonists as thanks to the descriptive writing one felt as though you really knew them and were able to empathise with them over their problems. Anna Gavalda also managed to bring to life for me the Parisian surroundings including the garret flat, the imposing apartment and Paulette’s former home in the countryside.
It is no exaggeration to say that I found it a fabulous portrayal of life and love, certainly one of my favourite reads so far this year.