Sunday, 2 March 2014

Review - Sunday God Willing by Yamina Benguigui


Trying to compensate for all the recent French ebooks I am not allowed to buy on amazon.fr because I live in the US [seriously, French authors would make much more money if anyone could buy them, whatever their country of residence], I went to look at my local College library what they had in French. Not much at all!
 
But I found this book, published over 10 years ago.

As this book has actually been made into a movie, and good it seems, and even available in English in the US, soI decided to present this book. The book does not seem to be available in English.

In the 1970s, the French government finally allowed Algerian men to have their wives and children come and settle with them in France. Until that time, they were just living by themselves and sending money back to their family in their own country. France had invited many of them to work after WWII.

The short novel Inch’Allah Dimanche (Sunday God Willing) is focused on Zouina. She had to leave her beloved country and ends up with her children in the North of France, in a culture she does not know at all, and where everything seems hostile to her. Besides, she is ill-treated and despised by her mother-in-law, who lives with them, and is frequently beaten up by her husband.

Only little by little will she learn to adapt and be respected for who she is.

This is a rough and tough novel, but which describes extremely well the reality of Algerian families settling in France at the time.

The characters are very well defined. The presentation of the nasty neighbors especially, reminded me of common scenes in France.

I really enjoyed the style of the book, with very short, dense sentences, a style often used by modern French writers. It gives a lot of dynamism and nervousness to the writing, and I think that fit perfectly well this topic.

Have you seen the movie?

If you want to practice your French, I’m also posting some thoughts in French about this book.




 About the Author

On June 21, 2012, Yamina Benguigui has been confirmed as Minister for la Francophonie in the French Government. You can read more about her and her movieshere.


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