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The List of my Desires [Kindle Edition]

Gregoire Delacourt
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Money can buy you freedom. But what about happiness?

When Jocelyne looks at herself in the mirror, she sees a middle-aged, married woman who runs a dressmaking shop in a small provincial French town and lives a very ordinary existence. But what happened to all those dreams she had when she was 17?

Then she wins millions on the lottery and has the chance to change her life for ever. So why does she find herself reluctant to accept the money? To help her decide what to do, she begins to compile a list of her heart's desires, never suspecting for one moment that the decision might be taken out of her hands ...

Product Description


The List of My Desires is a gorgeous little novel that has sold more than half a million copies in its native France. It is as beautifully written as it is heart-breaking, and is a fable-like tale of how money can't buy happiness. (STYLIST)

On the whole, Jocelyne is happy with her life: her dressmaking blog, her factory-worker husband, her children, her friends who dream of winning a fortune. And so when Jocelyne hits the Euromillions jackpot, she keeps it secret, writing a list of simple desires: getting her hair cut, buying a garage door. But while she appreciates the wisdom of being cautious, others don't... (SAINSBURY MAGAZINE)

This charmingly Gallic look at how we evaluate our life and the potentially corrosive effects of money is reminiscent of The Elegance of the Hedgehog (THE BOOKSELLER)

Gregoire Delacourt's cautionary tale looks at what happens when Jocelyne Guerbette unexpectedly finds herself in possession of a cheque for 18 million euros after winning the EuroMillions lottery. (LIVING FRANCE)

This was a really interesting read, with a message about the dangers of money and that money doesn't bring you happiness....I give this book 9/10. (VINTAGE ROSE BOOK REVIEWS)

This "gem of a novel" has been a huge success in France with massive sales and rights sold in 27 countries, and it does sound as though its story may 'chime' with many of us. (CORNFLOWER BOOKS)

Gregoire Delacourt's fictional The List of My Desires asks what happens when we achieve our heart's desire, after its protagonist Jocelyne wins the EuroMillions lottery. (HARPER'S BAZAAR)

This though-provoking debut from Gregoire Delacourt is a huge bestseller in France. (GOOD HOUSEKEEPING)

Impeccably translated from French by Anthea Bell, it's a sparkling and intriguing read...This is a very elegant novel. Its restraint is wonderful, with not a superfluous word. Grégoire Delacourt's keen eye pans deftly across the inner landscape of desire and longing, presenting a tender homage to almost unfashionable virtues - loyalty, duty, patience - without ever taking the high moral ground...These days, it is regarded as clichéd and hyperbolic to describe a novel as a tour de force. But I can't think of a more appropriate description for this book. (IRISH INDEPENDENT)

The story feels very French. I'm not sure exactly what it is that gives it that French flavour. You can tell it's a book in translation, even though it's beautifully translated, but somehow there's something about the characters that oozes French-ness, if there is such a word! It's a lovely, quick read. The chapters are short, enticing you to read just one more, late into the night, and it's a fairly short book overall that fast readers could probably polish off on an uninterrupted sunny afternoon. (THE BOOK BAG)

A sweet and poignant novella and its existential themes are redolent of that other French classic, The Little Prince. Beautifully written, readers will devour it in one sitting, turning the final page with one adage in their heads: the other man's grass is not always greener. (IRISH EXAMINER)

A massive seller across Europe, this little book of Gallic charm is likely to warm British hearts too. (CHOICE)

This moving novel about the search for happiness has already sold more than half a million copies in France. It's the story of 47-year-old Jocelyne, a haberdashery shop owner who lives in a provincial French town with her husband and two children. Her life is enjoyably simple until she wins 3 million euros in the lottery and everything changes when the cheque for her winnings disappears. This heart-breaking book is brilliantly written. (Francesca Rice MARIECLAIRE.CO.UK)

In a short, bittersweet novel, the desires of the heart and the dilemmas of living are braided together with such tender humour and natural pathos that we become as bereft and beguiled as Jo herself. (Iain Finlayson SAGA)

A novel about dreams and values, what is important and what is not, what we think we want and what we find we need, this is a sad but touching book...A wistful meditation on values and the search for happiness. (THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

Brief, vignette chapters entice the reader to persist, persuing questions for potential book club discussion that are universally applicable: What is happiness, what can money buy, what happens to love? (LIBRARY JOURNAL (USA))

This moving novel about the search for happiness has already sold more than half a million copies in France. It's the story of 47-year-old Jocelyne, a haberdashery shop owner who lives in a provincial French town with her husband and two children. Her life is enjoyably simple until she wins 3 million euros in the lottery and everything changes when the cheque for her winnings disappears. This heart-breaking book is brilliantly written. (Francesca Rice MARIE CLAIRE.CO.UK)

Book Description

If you could change your life, would you? For fans of THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG, the story of an ordinary woman and a chance in a million...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1010 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0297868357
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (4 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,846 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book to make you ask, "What if...." 22 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Exquisitely produced and written, this apparently slight novel packs quite a punch. We all have dreams, but what if they suddenly came true? How would it affect our life, our goals and, most of all, the relationships with our loved ones?

Delacourt has created a very ordinary, vulnerable and endearing forty-something heroine, with dreams and anxieties that most women would be able to relate to. He captures her voice perfectly and brings her to life. You will believe every word of her story. Though at times the plot stretches credulity a bit too far, it raises such interesting and universal issues about values and trust that you'll probably be gripped. Although it's a brief and easy read, the emotion is perfectly judged and it's possible that, like me, you'll find a bit of a lump in your throat towards the end. It's one of those books that will make you ask someone close to you, "What if...?" and it's a near-certainty that a fascinating discussion will follow.

There isn't a superfluous word in this book. Its prose flows as clearly as a mountain spring. Its theme transcends national boundaries, and it will stay with you after you've finished. It takes talent to make writing a book look so easy. Credit is also due to Anthea Bell for her translation skills.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great story, well told. 18 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A beautiful story with a twist. I enjoyed the gentle but insistent build up, trying to guess the outcome, knowing that something would happen but what? Couldn't put it down and read it in 2 sittings just about, a perfect weekend read. I was surprised that the author was male because his depictions of the female character's thoughts and emotions were very insightful. Can't think of anyone who would not enjoy this.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating and Heart-Warming Story. 2 July 2013
Attractively presented with its cover decorated with an array of different buttons and each chapter illustrated with a button drawing, Gregoire Delacourt's new novel is a pleasure to read. Our heroine is Jocelyne, an attractively plump forty-seven-year-old woman, living in a small French provincial town, the owner of a haberdashery shop, and married to husband, Jo, for over twenty years. Jocelyne, as she tells us, knows she is not pretty; she doesn't have blue eyes in which men want to drown; she doesn't move gracefully and she doesn't have the figure of a model. Yet, when she is alone, slowly undressing in front of the mirror, she imagines herself to be a beautiful nude in an art book and, in doing so, she almost feels she is beautiful - if only her husband would tell her that he thinks the same. Continuing her story, Jocelyn tells us how she met her husband and about the first few years of their marriage; of the birth of their two children: their son, Romaine (conceived the first time she and Jo made love) and daughter Nadine, born two years later, and we also learn of the very sad death of their third child, Nadege, who died on the same day she was born. (No spoilers - we learn all of this in the first few pages of the novel).

Jocelyne continues her narrative telling us that she doesn't find her life very exciting, but she enjoys its small pleasures - in addition to working in her shop, she writes an on-line blog where she discusses handicrafts and gives advice to her devoted following; she loves her two grown-up children and, although Jo is not a demonstrative man, she does care for him and she knows that her life could be a whole lot worse.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book 23 Aug. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I read this short book in a matter of hours, and thoroughly enjoyed every page. The story, which has been well translated from the original French by Anthea Bell, sees 47 year old Jocelyne in provincial France winning 18 million on the Euromillions. She's a somewhat plump but contented woman, who is pleased with her life as the owner of a haberdashery store. With an increasingly successful blog, two grown up children and a seemingly attentive and loving husband, Jocelyne starts to wonder if her oh-so-ordinary life isn't maybe worth just keeping as it is and decides to keep things just as they are. Being contented is never that simple and so things are about to take an unexpected turn......

This book has probably been so successful in France, where it has been on the bestseller list for months, because in troubled times it's a breath of fresh air. The tale is almost fairy tale like and it's written in a simple style which is fitting for the subject matter. It's a tale of a middle aged woman re-examining her life and raises the question for all of us as to what makes us happy. I couldn't wait to find out how the story would end and just thought it was a fantastic read. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The list of my desires 26 Sept. 2013
By Happyfamily VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a best seller book in France. Being French, I usually read french books in its original language but I got a copy of this book in english and was very happy with its translation. The book is very enjoyable to read and once you start you cannot put it down. I finished reading it in one day. As the title says it, the book is about the main character making a list of all her desires and finding out how money helps or not fulfilling those desires. This is the kind of book that reminds you of what is really important in your life, and how you can fulfill your desires/dreams (even if you don't win the lottery). Highly recommended book.
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