Tita is seven, and she wonders what wrong with her. She has perfect parents. She puts on plays with her friends, spies on adults, challenges her teacher, and even manages to read forbidden books. She should be happy. But she dreams of a world without meals, and keeps worrying about her mother's whereabouts, spoiling her own life for no reason at all. Tita wants to be good - but how? - when the Latin traditions she adores clash with her deepest desires?
As her small town vibrates to age-old rituals on the verge of slipping away, Tita finds refuge - and a liberation- in books.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR TITA
"Like opening the door to a secret garden, TITA transports the reader straight into life in a small town in the south of France during the 1950s, as seen through the eyes of a precocious seven-year-old heroine not soon to be forgotten. Houzelle's prose is unfailingly deft and refreshing. This book is a delight!" - Anne Korkeakivi, author of An Unexpected Guest
"Marie Houzelle is a master of the first-person narrative. In Tita she has created a strange, utterly original child whose deadpan certainties are a beguiling invitation to readers of all ages. Like Louise Fitzhugh's classic Harriet the Spy, the story is powered by a precocious and independent loner whose observations and reports are both charming and moving. Tita is a remarkable debut." Katharine Weber, author of Triangle and True Confections
"The best book I read this year. Witty, wry, and clever, Tita's young voice captivated me from the first page. Tita poignantly portrays small-town life as well as the end of the Catholic church's grip on France, revealing cracks in society that a decade later become the riots of 1968. A rare novel written in English that gives a real taste of French culture. I cannot recommend it enough!" Janet Skeslien Charles, author of Moonlight in Odessa
Tita has a charm so unique and powerful, it pulls you in effortlessly, like following a tree lined path on a summery day. The language is utterly original and quietly moving and very very funny and it makes you want to follow Tita onward past the last pages and into the years beyond. I loved it.-Nicola Keegan, author of Swimming --Nicola Keegan, author of Swimming
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Beautiful voice, lovely pace, TITA gives readers of all ages a portal into 1950s French life. Full disclosure: I read an early draft in manuscript, so delighted to read the entire novel in print. Marie Houzelle is a master of wit and understatement, yet she knows to get at what's most compelling to the human soul. Don't miss her short stories, some of which you can find online at NARRATIVE magazine.
This is a true delight: a French writer who has written in English (and thankfully not Latin!). Tita is a novel about a seven year old girl in a small Catholic town in the south of France set during the 1950s. It opens up to us a very different take on what France is like. The language is delightful, right down to Tita's glossary from her point of view! Tita is a courageous heroine who charms us in surprising ways.