My Wish List

( 4 )

Overview

The #1 bestselling international phenomenon that asks, If you won the lottery, would you trade your life for the life of your dreams?

Jocelyne lives in a small town in France where she runs a fabric shop, has been married to the same man for twenty-one years, and has raised two children. She is beginning to wonder what happened to all those dreams she had when she was seventeen. Could her life have been different?

Then she wins the lottery—and ...

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My Wish List

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Overview

The #1 bestselling international phenomenon that asks, If you won the lottery, would you trade your life for the life of your dreams?

Jocelyne lives in a small town in France where she runs a fabric shop, has been married to the same man for twenty-one years, and has raised two children. She is beginning to wonder what happened to all those dreams she had when she was seventeen. Could her life have been different?

Then she wins the lottery—and suddenly finds the world at her fingertips. But she chooses not to tell anyone, not even her husband—not just yet. Without cashing the check, she begins to make a list of all the things she could do with the money. But does Jocelyne really want her life to change?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/27/2014
The melancholy protagonist of Delacourt’s novel, the first by this French author to be published in English, has the chance to answer a perennial hypothetical question, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” Jocelyne, a 47-year-old shop owner, knitting blogger, and empty nester in Arras, France, wrestles with how to spend her €18.5 million jackpot. “I think of myself, of all that will now be possible for me, and I don’t want any of it,” Jocelyne laments. She hides her lottery check in her shoe, and keeps the news of it from her husband, Jocelyn (oddly, the two have nearly identical names); their grown-up daughter, Nadine; and their son, Romain, confessing only to her stroke-afflicted father, who quickly forgets what Jocelyne has told him. While she compiles her touchingly ordinary wish lists, Jocelyne’s business booms, her blog readers multiply, and her morose husband—who was previously cruel and distant because of a still birth in their past—grows tender. This dark fable about how money changes everything, and nothing, was a bestseller in France, and the aching need for comfort, safety and love that it describes is universal, even if Jocelyne’s ambivalence toward big money may puzzle American readers. Agent: Jessica Purdue, Orion. (Apr.)
Library Journal
03/15/2014
Madame Jocelyn Guerbette is middle aged, stuck in a boring life, with a few friends, a business she likes, and a husband who's just okay. When her lottery ticket hits the big jackpot of 18 million Euro, the psychologist "with Daisy Duck lips" warns Jocelyn about the perils of sudden wealth. Before cashing in her winning ticket, Jocelyn makes lists of her desires, which fluctuate with her moods. Brief, vignette chapters entice the reader to persist, pursuing questions for potential book club discussion that are universally applicable: What is happiness, what can money buy, what happens to love? VERDICT Already a best seller in France with rights sold in 30 countries, this slim novel by a prize-winning French author will attract U.S. readers, especially those who enjoyed Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, because it addresses the question of suddenly coming into big money and does it in a sparse, understated, philosophical manner that is wholly French. Overall this translates into appeal to male as well as female readers, and for literary fiction fans and book clubs.—Mary K. Bird-Guilliams, Chicago
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-21
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143124658
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 3/25/2014
  • Edition description: Translatio
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 139,833
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Grégoire Delacourt was born in Valenciennes, France, in 1960. His first novel, L'Ecrivain de la Famille, was published in 2011 and won five literary prizes. My Wish List was a runaway number-one bestseller in France; publication rights have been sold in more than twenty-five countries. Delacourt lives in Paris, where he runs an advertising agency with his wife.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2014

    A powerful reflection on life, happiness and lies included: Acco

    A powerful reflection on life, happiness and lies included:
    According to me, lots of very recent French novels are:

    short
    written in a very punchy way, with lots of short incomplete sentences (I mean for instance without any main verb)
    quirky and ultimately depressing

    My Wish List fits perfectly the bill! And I loved it! Could be because I’m French, but I am glad to see that several American readers do enjoy this style. I think this is incidentally a great way of widening one’s reading horizon by discovering another type of writing.

    Jocelyne, in her 40s, learned to forget her dreams long ago and be content with her simple life with its usual amount of problems. She owns a haberdashery shop –or millinery shop as I was told we would call it in the US. And she has a very popular knitting blog.
    Her husband works in a factory. He follows his dull life thanks to his beer and his very low dreams (such as a flat-screen TV).
    Jocelyne is friend with the twins Françoise et Danièle, who own the hair-salon next door to her own shop. They play the lottery every week and finally manage to encourage her to play as well.
    She makes a list of all she could get, if that money were hers. But Jocelyne is aware that life is made of lies, and she is afraid that money might bring even more lies.
    What do you think could happen if she won, if she did get that money? How much do you think her life could be changed?
    You will have to read the book, because with interesting twists and turn it will lead you to something you didn’t expect.

    I really enjoyed a lot the writing style of Delacourt, masterfully rendered in American. The translator did dare keep the present tense. It may seem weird to some American readers, but know that the French use a lot the present tense in novels. I think it’s good the translator kept it.
    It definitely gives the English speaking reader a more accurate image of the characteristics of French writing. Why would everyone espouse the same writing style? Jocelyne herself says:

    I love it when words sometimes hide what they’re saying, or say it in a new way.
    p.19

    Dialogs are integrated into the narration, another common element of French current writing. It makes things much more punchy and fluid. Here is a good example:

    And what are you going to do with all that money, Jocelyne, do you have any idea? That’s just it, Papa, I don’t know. What do you mean, you don’t know? Anyone would know what to do with a sum like that. You could have a new life. But I like my life as it is, Papa. Do yo think Jo would still love me as I am if he knew?
    p.81

    I thought the male writer did a great job at conveying his female heroine’s dreams and fears, and the nitty-gritty of lots of financially speaking struggling French people.

    VERDICT: My Wish List is a powerful reflection on life, happiness and lies included. It portrays how money can do or undo your life. This is the perfect short novel to get yourself acquainted with modern French fiction at its best.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    I win

    If i could in the lottery i would open up a vetinary rescue and help all f the beateen and abuse animals even the one on the infomercial and every other animal to even the cute ones and every other pet too

    1 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    My Wishlist

    Be Happy

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    Boring BORING!

    Boring!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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