The Book Review: My Wishlist by Grégoire Delacourt

“Jo [her husband] and I are happy, I say, my voice unsteady. We’ve had our ups and downs like all couples, but we’ve managed to get over the bad times. We have two lovely children, a pretty little house, friends, we go on holiday twice a year. The shop is doing very well…”

The semester ended and it feels so good to read for pleasure again. Books had been piling up at my house since I of course spent a lot of time working at my favorite bookstore Black Squirrel Books. Needless to say, there was always a “book reward purchase” at the end, sigh! 

For our recent journey to Germany, I took Murakami’s novella “South of the Border, West of the Sun” that I finished in a couple of hours on the plane.  A book review will follow soon. [Murakami’s writing style is just so great and keeps me reading without realizing where I was – on the plane with a three year-old who “reads” next to me or watches “Finding Nemo” or “Finding Dory” on repeat!] 

My mom and I can talk about books for hours too since we share the same passion/addiction for reading. She read a bunch of great book recently and kept a pile of her favorites nicely piled up for me. Grégroire Delacourt was one of them among Bodo Kirchhoff who is a German author I never heard of. I started “My Wish List” simply because it is a little novella that I wanted to finish in one night due to being up because of jet leg and Petit Joel’s cough. 

In a nutshell: What a quaint, thought-provoking, amazing novella indeed that made me think about my own life, choices and decisions at 3 am in the morning. The main protagonists of the book kept me focused throughout the entire reading and I somehow could even relate to Jocelyne as well as her husband in some ways. The book just has a wonderful plot. 

The plot (no spoilers): A woman, married, writer of a blog and passionate knitter at a small company she owned and two kids, wins a large sum of money on the lottery. Nothing too crazy, yet indeed something that is nice and many secretly desire. Who doesn’t want to win the lottery? What will happen next? I expected a somewhat light-hearted story of her telling the family about her win, traveling the world and spending the money happily but wisely on things they/she always dreamt about. With this sum of money, all her wishes could come true, or couldn’t they? Jocelyne, the main protagonist, who had been touched by tragedy many times already is however very strong and manages to just keep on going and to focus on the good things in life. However, what she cannot change is her fear of losing the man she loves. 

What I enjoyed about the book was that the main protagonist Jocelyne never doubted her life or decisions. However, is it okay to want more for yourself or of life?  Or the main question, if this amount of money could ruin whatever one has right now in life – even if your life seems so ordinary? Is it possible that this money can buy you a happier, better or even new life? 

Additionally, I love to read when authors refer to other great works of literature or writers. Delacourt referred to Albert Cohen’s Belle de Seigneur who Jocelyne loved to read. The author mentioned several characters of this particular book throughout his writings that makes it interesting to pick up Seigneur next. Many idea from the book stay with me ever since and make me reflect on life differently. 

Do you still need a Christmas gift for someone or for yourself? Purchase this beautiful gem of a novella. It will make you think about what is really important in life. 

Interested? Click here for the English and here for the German copy of the book. Happy reading!

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