Today I’m gonna review one of my favourite books: Entre mes mains le Bonheur se faufile by Agnès Martin-Lugand (I’ve already talked about one of her other books Happy People Read and Drink Coffee wrote in 2013). This book has been written in 2014 and take place in France.
Summary: Iris a thirty-one years old woman live on the country side with his husband until, at a family lunch, she discovers her parents and brothers had always lied to her about her acceptation in a fashion school. After she broke up with what was the only family she had except her husband, she decides to ask for another chance in Marthe’s sewing workshop in Paris. Even if she’s accepted, her departure is the matter of big argument between she and her husband resolved by the promise of having a baby after the six months of formation in the capital. Once she has started her formation she met new peoples starting with Marthe, the mysterious owner of the workshop, and Gabrielle her adopted son. The days and then the weeks followed by the months pass and Iris proves how a good sewer she is and is introduced in the crazy life in the word of fashion, especially in Paris. By only coming home on week-end and with a doctor as a husband, Iris became more and more dubitative about her marriage and her life once she will finish her formation. Plus, she starts to feel something for Gabrielle and Marthe become more and more intransigent with her.
Review: with all the love I have for this book, I must say there’s some little things I didn’t like about it. For example, the world of fashion is a vivid cliché. Marthes is the typical director fashion and the first time I’ve read the book I thought the author had wrote her influenced by the character of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada (I can’t say from the book because Miranda Prieslty is quite different from the movie but as ever when it’s an adaptation). Marthe is a really strong woman and I first I really like her because she forces Iris to stand up for her dream and live outside her marriage. However, the more I read the book, the more I discover all the little flaws I hate in her, like, she modelled Iris at her own image, she doesn’t let her have her own personality. She purposely pushs Iris in Gabrielle’s arms but also become crazier and meaner as the time goes by. Gabrielle is also quite a cliché. Where to start with ... Firstly, he is the handsome-mysterious-perverse kind of guy. He is charming and he knows it. Actually, he is the perfect cliché of the Bed Guy (sleep with a lot of girls, always make dirty jokes, devours more than he looks Iris, purposely flirt with her even if he knows she has a husband ...) but we are supposed to excuse him because of his past. And let me tell you I’m really tired of this arc in which we are supposed to forget everything because “I had a though childhood”. That’s bullshit, everyone had a difficult childhood all over the world and that doesn’t mean everyone is an ass despite of it.
But, because there is a but otherwise it won’t be on my list of favourite books, there’s some good things about this book too. First of all, the depiction of Iris’s sewing skills. This girl must be talented, and I talked as a girl who spent is childhood in her aunt’s workshop watching her sewing wedding dresses before she starts working for Chanel. Iris is a talented sewer, and, despite the first impression, she knows and is damn proud of it. The other thing I liked in this book is how Iris gain her confidence and take her future in her hands. She knows nothing will change if she let her life stay the way it had been for the past thirty-or-so years. Acknowledging her marriage is a failure, she doesn’t wait to move on and be the woman he had always dreamt to be. She becomes a though woman who can defend herself. Her love story isn’t really important (even if it makes me blush a little because I’m a fucking romantic) in the story only to prove how strong she becomes and all the way she goes through.
The end had me to tear, but I think it was a little bit easy to end the book like that. Let me tell you, the book is really small (a hundred or so pages) and I think it would have been more developed on some topic (like Marthe’s bipolarity or the fact that she was bi ... and the author is a psychologist so normally she’s well informed on the topic).
To end this review, I really love this book because it talks about one of my favourite subject which is fashion and the fashion’s industry, but it had a lot of flaws. However, it’s a good book to read by the fireplace during autumn and winter day when it’s raining/snowing outside.
And you, what is your favourite book? Enjoy your read.
- Gaëlle