A suicidal German woman travels to the French coast, intending to drown herself in the sea, but the allure of a quaint seaside village leads her to continually delay her plans.
Marianne Messman has had enough of her miserable life, especially her cold, controlling husband. After 41 years of marriage, she decides to escape her despair during a package trip to Paris by jumping into the Seine. To her great disappointment, she's pulled from the water by a homeless man and sent directly to the hospital. Stalwart in her resolve to end her life, Marianne absconds from the facility and travels west to Brittany, intending simply to walk deep into the sea. When she arrives in the coastal town of Kerdruc, a series of comical events leads her into a charming French bistro that caters to fishermen and tourists. Although Marianne doesn’t speak French, she somehow ends up in the bistro kitchen, assisting the lovesick, distracted head chef. Within just a few hours at this quaint restaurant, Marianne is introduced to a bewitching cast of characters as well as sensual and spiritual aspects of life that were previously unknown to her. As she grows increasingly excited by new discoveries, which range from the exquisite delight of tasting fresh oysters to the pleasure of wearing brightly colored clothing, Marianne struggles with what to do about her estranged husband and her plans for the future. Translated from its original German, George’s (The Little Paris Bookshop, 2015, etc.) engrossing novel is as much about indulging the senses with succulent dishes and dazzling sights as it is about romance and second chances. With a profound sense of place and sensuous prose, the novel functions as a satisfying virtual visit to the French Riviera.
A luscious and uplifting tale of personal redemption in the tradition of Eat, Pray, Love.