A darkly atmospheric story about a mother and son living on the fringes of society in Marseille, from an award-winning French writer
Marginal people scratching a living on the beach in Marseille, no money and no way out - this is the framework of Marion Brunet’s unsettling novel, Vanda. A short but sharply written book, Vanda is about a single mother, whose life has been one of free-spirited rebellion, trying to hold things together for her young son.
What the novel is really about is prejudice, the secret cruelty of society and how having no money makes you an easy target. Thought-provoking fiction with a strong narrative drive, Vanda is expertly translated from the French by Katherine Gregor. Author Marion Brunet was previously recognised in France for her young adult fiction, yet Vanda and her previous adult novel, The Summer Of Reckoning, which won the prestigious French literary prize, Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, have taken her work to a new and eager audience.
"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remoresely all that stands in its path." Agatha Christie
Set in Marseilles, this is the story of Vanda, a beautiful woman in her thirties, arms covered in tattoos, skin so dark that some take her for a North African. Vanda dreamt of being an artist; she became a cleaner in a psychiatric hospital. Devoted to her six-year-old son Noé, she lives with him in a derelict shed by the beach. "You and me against the rest of the world," as she says. But when Noé’s father Simon shows up after a seven-year absence, threatening the delicate balance of their lives, her suppressed rage finally explodes. The tension becomes unbearable, escalating to inevitable violence.
|Publication date:||22nd April 2022|
|Publisher:||Bitter Lemon Press|
|Primary Genre||Thriller and Suspense|
Closing date: 10/07/2022
Vanda follows on from the success of last year’s The Summer of Reckoning: winner of the prestigious French mystery prize Grand Prix de Littérature policière, shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger in the UK, The Times Book of the Month. The Guardian said: “concise and beautifully written”. This new novel cements her position as one of France’s leading noir novelists.