Money can’t buy happiness for an introspective housewife who wins the lottery.
This is the first novel to appear in English by French author Delacourt, who was recently in the news after being sued by actress Scarlett Johansson for using her image in another novel. The Wish List details the inner life of Jocelyne, a 47-year-old wife in a small French town. Her family includes a stillborn baby, two grown children, and her husband, curiously named Jocelyn, a middle manager at a Häagen-Daz factory who drinks too much beer and dreams of luxuries like a flat-screen television. Jocelyne also has her own career, running a fabric shop and composing a very successful blog about sewing and knitting. She claims happiness, with her simple descriptions of everyday pleasures, only exposing her fears to her stroke-addled father. Everything comes tumbling down when, at the urging of two younger friends, Jocelyne buys a lottery ticket and wins over €18 million, a fact that she keeps secret from everyone, hiding the check in a wardrobe. “It’s only in books that you can change your life,” she advises. “Wipe out everything at a stroke. Do away with the weight of things. Delete the nasty parts, and then at the end of a sentence find yourself on the far side of the world.” At the heart of Jocelyne’s anxiety over her new fortune is a kind of quiet hysteria, steeped in the fear that if she gives her husband the objects that he covets, he will no longer want her. As Jocelyne's secret is finally uncovered, this domestic novel reveals itself as one the late novelist Josephine Hart might have written.
A best-seller in its original language, this dastardly little novel focuses on love, desire and what we stand to lose when we win.