cover image Get Well Soon

Get Well Soon

Marie-Sabine Roger, trans. from the French by Frank Wynne. Pushkin, $14.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-78227-216-8

In Roger’s delightful and charming tale, it’s 2012 and 67-year-old Jean-Pierre Fabre wakes from a coma in intensive care after falling from a bridge and being dragged from the Seine. He is a solitary man and a widower since his wife, Annie, died in a bicycle accident a decade ago after 31 years of marriage. Immobile and with nothing but time on his hands, Jean-Pierre decides to write out his life story. He begins to receive more visitors, including Maxime, the inspector handling the investigation into the cause of his fall, and Camille, the boy who saved him from the river, who also happens to be a prostitute. Jean-Pierre continues discussions with Camille, appalled that he is turning tricks to pay rent and put himself through school. Jean-Pierre himself wanted “a life less ordinary” when he was young, and he feels he has wasted a lot of time not being the person he’d wanted to be. Roger steers clear of melodrama by allowing Jean-Pierre to come to his own conclusions about his life at a natural pace. The relationships evolve slowly, but the novel will satisfy readers with authenticity, well-drawn characters, and deeply felt emotions. (Sept.)