The author recreates the world of her childhood in a small French village before and during World War I...
|Publisher||:||MacAdam Cage First Edition edition September 10, 1996|
|Number of Pages||:||300 pages|
|File Size||:||594 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
This dear little book, written in such a lilting, lyrical manner, had me enthralled with the first sentence. Born in 1908, the author tells of growing up in the environs of Chartres, France. This handsome little book is studded with family photos. It's such a pleasure to see people dressed in their regional dress, in the days before globalization and plastic surgery! The grandmother's starched white cap bespoke her origins. The memoirs talks of which flowers grew where, what vegetation abounded where...and her maternal grandmother's last dying word was..."geranium" ( because it suddenly bloomed out of season on the day the grandmother died. ) Mireille kept it secret for awhile, out of childish spite, not telling her mother until years later. The white dog, Toto, the cat, who came and stayed for about six months each winter, the hypochondriac and depressed mother, the amiable father...and what did poor Odette, her best friend die of? Reading this memoir was such a treat. The next book she wrote didn't have as good reviews, but the writing in this was so good, I had to order the next. If you like to be transported to time and place, and have characters come alive, you cannot help but love this little book. It's one that will stay with you for a long, long time, and probably even dredge up some of your own memories from a different time and different place. Incidently, the title "Immortelles" is a pun in French. One meaning is, of course, "the immortal (females)"; the other meaning is that "immortelles" is the colloquial name for what we call "straw flowers", which were thrown on the tops of coffins after they were lowered into the ground.
This was recommended to me by a former neighbor, John, who perhaps is the "John" because of whom the book was written. He was next door neighbor and good friend to "Mimi," who wrote Immortelles. I purchased this book for my mother, who had time to read it. She was very happy with the story and summed it up with "charming," "fascinating," and "she was an ordinary French woman who made the mistake of marrying a German during WW2". Now my mother wants to visit the little white house in which Mimi lived.
Thank you, Mireille. It is a simple, light story through unfiltered eyes. The gift is in allowing the reader to feel the impact of time and events without exposing interpretations. When I came to the epilogue, I realized that through sharing the story of her life Mireille has blessed all the stories of life itself.
I moved to Las Cruces NM in 2005 where Ms Marokvia moved in her later years. She died at the age of 99 in 2008, I wish I could have met her. Her memoir is simple and profound. She writes as she remembers stating when she did not understand events of her childhood. She did not attempt to fill in the blanks with imaginative writing. Very much worth reading again. I will be looking for more of her work.
This is one of the best books I have read for a long time. Its simple and innocent--a hard find in todays hard core literature. If you are looking for something gentle, serene and real, something belonging to the world gone by almost a century ago then this is it!
Profoundly moving in a pure spirit of a world no longer existing. Reminds me of starched clothes and hand-carried water pails