16 December 2022

Book of the month – « Sa préférée » by Sarah Jollien-Fardel

by Redaction NOW Village

We are quickly carried away by this oppressive story, trapped in the heart of a storm of domestic violence that will take everything in its path.

Sarah Jollien-Fardel depicts a rural and brutal atmosphere in a village in the Valais, witnessing a family drama. Yet no one will ever speak. Not even the doctor, who later makes a startling revelation and finally confesses his cowardice. At the origin of everything, of the evil, Louis, a perverse man, alcoholic and unchained, is attacking his wife and his two daughters with impunity. One of the daughters, Jeanne, tells us about her struggle to survive, to stand up to this abusive father, to flee, despite the guilt of leaving behind her beaten and insulted mother. Leaving her older sister was also a heartbreaker. She would have liked to take her place, that of the “favorite” to protect her.

On such fragile foundations, it is complicated for Jeanne to build a love relationship, she rejects the men, that unconsciously she assimilates to the father. One man, Paul, will however succeed in taming her, reconciling her with love, bringing her a pause of pleasure in time. But inevitably the memories, like an insidious poison, eat away at her from the inside. The author succeeds in taking her reader into the limbo of a suffering, of an omnipresent anger, jostled, disturbed, to leave him powerless in front of Jeanne’s fate.

A remarkable first novel, which reminds us of a Greek tragedy, painful and poignant, with an inevitable end.


“I saw the weakness of my mother, the stupidity and cruelty of my father. I saw the innocence of my older sister. I saw everything. And I knew that I was not of the same calibre as them. My weakness was pride. A pride that kept me brave and upright. It also lost me. I was a child. I understood without knowing.”

Credit picture of the writer: © MariePierre Cravedi

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Sa préférée