5 Gallic Books to Fall in Love With
The cold post-Christmas lull of January is over, which means that most loved and most hated of days is fast approaching: Valentine’s Day. We say it’s just another excuse to get your hands on a new book.
So we’ve given ourselves the tough task of choosing just a few of our titles to fall in love with this Valentine’s Day. From unforgettable characters to captivating journeys, here are five books that we feel are worthy of your love – whether it’s a gift for your Valentine or something just for you.
The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
Antoine Laurain has more than proved that he is the king of offbeat romance. With Gallic due to publish his seventh novel in English this September, we are returning to one of his best-loved classics: The Red Notebook is the quirky, heartwarming tale of an abandoned leather handbag and a certain notebook inside it. The story unfolds flawlessly in Laurain’s hands as intrigued bookseller Laurent Letellier tries to find its owner… But what else will he find? A spellbinding ode to romance and chance encounters.
Hector and the Secrets of Love by Francois Lelord
The course of true love never did run smooth. Or at least, that’s what psychiatrist Hector is about to find out, in the follow-up to the multi-million-selling Hector and the Search for Happiness. This time, Hector explores the mysteries of the human heart as he sets out on a globe-trotting mission to track down a scientist who has disappeared abroad with the secret to a modern-day love potion. Lelord’s wry narration and moving insights into love are sure to charm even the most weary of readers.
Little by Edward Carey
We defy you not to fall in love with Marie Grosholtz, the ‘blood-stained crumb of a girl’ who went on to become Madame Tussaud. Edward Carey’s brilliant re-imagining of her life is a rollicking yet touching read, complete with illustrations by the author. Full of heart, humour and (waxwork) heads, Little takes you on an unforgettable journey through revolutionary France, following the journey of one of fiction’s most original characters. With fans including everyone from Margaret Atwood to Nigel Slater, this is one to cherish.
Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar
The breathtaking Salt Creek made a slew of prize shortlists when it first came out and was voted a Times Book of the Year. It’s not hard to see why. The story of the Finch family’s relocation from Adelaide to Southern Australia in 1855, it tells of dreams and struggles, of love and hardship, as a family tries to adapt to the challenges of a new life. With sweeping descriptions of a landscape that is as harsh as it is beautiful, Salt Creek is a love song to a bygone era.
How’s the Pain? by Pascal Garnier
If Valentine’s Day just isn’t your thing, it doesn’t come much more cynical than Pascal Garnier. How’s the Pain?, one of Garnier’s bleakest and best, is an alternative road trip of sorts, in which ageing ‘pest exterminator’ Simon sets off for the French riviera with his young chauffeur Bernard. Needless to say, things don’t quite go to plan. But behind its sometimes dark tone, How’s the Pain? is a moving look at life, love and the unlikely relationships we end up in. A sleek new Editions Gallic reissue will be available later this year.