In the small town of Crozon in Brittany, a library houses manuscripts that were rejected for publication: the faded dreams of aspiring writers. Visiting while on holiday, young editor Delphine Despero is thrilled to discover a novel so powerful that she feels compelled to bring it back to Paris to publish it. The book is a sensation, prompting fevered interest in the identity of its author – apparently one Henri Pick, a now-deceased pizza chef from Crozon. Sceptics cry that the whole thing is a hoax: how could this man have written such a masterpiece? An obstinate journalist, Jean-Michel Rouche, heads to Brittany to investigate.
The Bottom Line: For most of this book, I was on the fence with my rating. The premise of the book is interesting, and I wanted to see what path would emerge, so I dove in. I can’t say I overly enjoyed the book, but I didn’t dislike it either. I determined to stick with the book hoping that by the end, something will or will not have happened to sway my opinion one way or another. I made it to the epilogue before that moment happened. Literally one sentence, one utterance from Delphine turned me totally and completely off this book. There are some things that should NEVER be said! While I fully understand the mentality of the character, her fear of losing everything material, some things just shouldn’t ever be threatened in any capacity or context, ever. I have never, in 40+ years of reading, had a book turn my stomach so completely with a single sentence. I was blown away that an author would even consider writing such a thing even in the context into which it has been written. I can’t, in good conscious recommend this book.