Marianne is sixty and she is German. She is also married to Lothar, and living his life, just like he commands. She feels suffocating in their little masquerade so she decides to end her life while on a trip to Paris. When she fells into Seine’s dark waters she starts to feel free for the first time. Death is liberating! However, a local tramps who founds refuge under the bridge Marianne used in her attempt saves her from drowning. She ends up in the hospital against her own will but passively accepting other people’s will, since that’s all she is used to doing. Her husband visits and he is angry with her. He thinks of all the impact her suicidal attempt will or would have in his life. He eventually leaves her in the French hospital, in order to honor his ticket back home.
This is Marianne’s chance to escape. To escape from the hospital. To escape from a life she is tired of. To escape from everything and everyone that knows her. To escape to death. When she finds a tile in the nurse’s room of a harbor named Kedruc she decides to end her life after she has seen the sea for the first time. And this is how it all begins!
The book is a journey of a woman that tries to find herself at the age of sixty. There are points where the reader forgets that she is actually of that age and it is refreshing to see, think and decide that it is never late to start living your life. This is the better late than never approach which the author fully supports.
The characters that Marianne meets in Kedruc are delightsome! They are not the normal port town people one would find, even though there is a fisherman in the fellowship. Each and every one of the is unique! There is the romantic chef in love that cannot face the love of his life. There is also the woman whose love has been rejected once and she is devastated, but she is still hanging on, being dynamic and running her own business. There is the artist and his friendly couple that are a bit odd. And there are so many more that cannot be just referenced in this review.
Nina George has done a marvelous job with this book! Her writing is enchanting! It is rich and powerful. The reader feels as if they were part of the port Kedruc company, one of them, living in that small town and spending every day and night with the book characters, getting to know Marianne, as she gets to know of herself and cooking in Jean-Remy’s kitchen.