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Les premières phrases

«  Barry Fairbrother did not want to go out to dinner. He had endured a thumping headache for most of the weekend and was struggling to make a deadline for the local newspaper.

However, his wife had been a little stiff and uncommunicative over lunch, and Barry deduced that his anniversary card had not mitigated the crime of shutting himself away in the study all morning. It did not help that he had been writing about Krystal, whom Mary disliked, although she pretended otherwise.

« Mary, I want to take you out to dinner », he had lied, to break the frost. « Nineteen years, kids! Nineteen years, and your mother’s never looked lovelier. »

Mary had softened and smiled, so Barry had telephoned the golf club, because it was nearby and they were sure of getting a table. He tried to give his wife pleasure in little ways, because he had come to realize, after nearly two decades together, how often he disappointed her in the big things. It was never intentional. They simply had very different notions of what ought to take up most space in life.

Barry and Mary’s four children were past the age of needing a babysitter. They were watching television when he said goodbye to them for the last time, and only Declan, the youngest, turned to look at him, and raised his hand in farewell. »

Circonstances de lecture

Lu dès sa parution. In English of course !


Acheté les yeux fermés, parce que je suis accro à l’écriture de J.K.Rowling. Avec ce roman (gros de quelque 500 pages), J.K.Rowling tourne radicalement la page Harry Potter avec une histoire ancrée de plain-pied dans la réalité. L’histoire a lieu dans un petit village anglais à l’apparence harmonieuse… jusqu’à ce que Barry Fairbrother meure subitement et laisse un siège vacant au conseil municipal. Débute alors une lutte pour savoir qui prendra sa place. Car l’enjeu est de taille, notamment entre ceux souhaitant continuer son combat pour aider le quartier où se trouvent les logements sociaux, et ceux désirant au contraire s’en débarrasser.

Lutte des classes, problèmes de couples, tourments de l’adolescence, drogue, violence, fossé social, préjugés, égoïsme et indifférence… J.K.Rowling délaisse ici la magie pour traiter de sujets durs et forts. Jusqu’à un final dont on ressort secoué. Un bon gros roman sur la nature humaine.

Un passage parmi d’autres

 Fats was curiously joyless these days, even though he made everybody else laugh as much as ever. His quest to rid himself of restrictive morality was an attempt to regain something he was sure had been stifled in him, something that he had lost as he had left childhood. What Fats wanted to recover was a kind of innocence, and the route he had chosen back to it was through all the things that were supposed to be bad for you, but which, paradoxically, seemed to Fats to be the one true way to authenticity; to a kind of purity. It was curious how often everything was back to front, the inverse of what they told you; Fats was starting to think that if you flipped every bit of received wisdom on its head you would have the truth. He wanted to journey through dark labyrinths and wrestle with the strangeness that lurked within; he wanted to break taboos and squeeze wisdom from their bloody hearts; he wanted to achieve a state of amoral grace, and be baptized backwards into ignorance and simplicity.

And so he decided to break one of the few school rules he had not yet contravened, and walked away, into the Fields.

The Casual Vacancy – J.K.Rowling – 2012 (Little Brown)