Novels from here: a bottle in the sea

Novels from here: a bottle by the sea


Yvan, 62, is going to die from drinking too much. Can he rebuild bridges with his daughter now that his end is approaching? Maybe so, maybe not.

The diagnosis we just gave him left Yvan in tears. Her young neighbor from the hospital room dares to approach to take her hand and slip her: “You shouldn’t be alone, sir. »

But he is alone for having sought it well. After all, once, I was a hero, as the title says – because he was one for a long time in the eyes of Gabrielle, his daughter. But it's been eighteen years since he last spoke to her.

And if it was her rather than the young stranger who was holding his hand?

It's the starting point of this novel with two voices which however has only one narrator thanks to the audacious construction of Sophie Bienvenu. 

Back home, Yvan has a new fight with Miche, his roommate, with whom he was once infatuated and whom he now despises. So he slams the door. To go to his daughter or not? One chapter says yes, the next shows no. The story will alternate in this way until the end.

But since the two possibilities continue to follow each other, Yvan's hopes and cowardice merge, showing all the ambivalences of the character.

From this literary game will emerge the figure of Gabrielle, her daughter, her success. “My daughter made me better, for a while at least,” recalls Yvan. This best still exists, but we still have to agree to revisit it. But the call of the drink is so strong…

Between love and rejection

We already know how well Sophie Bienvenu knows how to stage flayed characters, that his pen brings fully alive. We owe him the favorite novels And at worst, we'll get married and Chercher Sam.

A priori, Yvan is less endearing: he has a knack for blaming his problems on others, as his relationship with Miche illustrates. you'd like us to believe him,” she told him), but he couldn't stand her anymore. In fact, even his inseparable cat is jostled between love and rejection by Yvan.

However, Bienvenu does his character justice by showing how an ordinary man, who is expected to he conforms to social expectations, finds support in alcohol because he does not want this role.

But he does not meet the expectations of his daughter, to whom he goes constantly lying: to spare him or because his thirst takes everything in his path? What story does Yvan tell himself? 

Bienvenu was inspired by her own father, with whom she reconnected after alcoholism separated them for a long time. We therefore better understand the touching quivering that runs through the book: Yvan exists. It's up to him to see that it's worth it.