“Secret life” which was more or less correctly guessed by Monica Sabolo

“Secret life” which was more or less correctly guessed by Monica Sabolo

Christian Dorsan, author, blogger etc associate reader groups 20 minute booksI recommend you A life in secret by Monica Sabolo, published on August 18, 2022 by Éditions Gallimard.

His favorite quote:

Secrecy is not as romantic as one thinks: one imagines a busy life, far from the city and institutions, a wild place to inhabit like a forest, as well as lovers, druids and poets. In reality, it is not an experience of freedom but an experience of hindrance.

Why this book?

  • Because diving into contemporary history is a way of locating yourself in time and reconnecting with your childhood. While searching for a subject for a book, the novelist became interested in Action Directe, which made headlines in 1986 with the murder of George Besse. This is why he meets the protagonists, mixing private life and news, establishing an intense and intimate dialogue between what the history of this period preserves and his personal story.
  • Since this book is a double investigation, of course to the activist group and also to the author’s own childhood. The common point? The secret, that of the group that wants to escape the police by merging into a new identity, that of the narrator who buried her memories, unconsciously creating another identity for herself.
  • Because the storyteller’s life is a real novel whose father has a central place: a member of the International Labor Office, then a shady businessman, and he will end up in semi-secret, fleeing his creditors. Who is hiding behind this secretive man for his family and sociable with interlocutors, the reader tries to unravel this mystery according to the more or less precise memories of the author.
  • Because there are moments of wavering with hesitation, inaccuracies, which give the writing a fragile and profound consistency. Little by little, the veil is being torn as if the author had discovered the dark side of her childhood while investigating the motives of the assassination of George Besse. Forgiveness comes as deliverance, grief is not an issue for her, and regret, like for the members of Action Direct, would only distort what was.

The most important in 2 minutes

Action. A novelist in search of inspiration decides to explore the Action Directe years. This research gradually turns into a personal quest.

Characters. The narrator, her father Yves S., her brother and mother, members of Action Directe, Hellyette Bess, anarchist bookseller, George Besse were killed in November 1986.

Places. Paris, Geneva, Southwest.

Time. Current with many back and forth in the years 1970-1980, especially in November 1986 with the assassination of George Besse.

Author. Monica Sabolo is a journalist and novelist. An animal rights activist, she worked for the WWF before joining the editorial staff of several magazines. She received the Prix de Flore in 2013 for All this has nothing to do with me.

This book was read with curiosity because what is the common ground between a novelist of beautiful neighborhoods and a group of terrorists? Secret: self-dissimilation to protect themselves by creating a temporary identity for some, protection for the narrator. An exciting book.

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