6 October 2017

Olivier Adam: À l'abri de rien (2007)

À l'abri de rien, I can't help thinking, is one of Olivier Adam's best novels. We have a family in chaos, we have a (female) protagonist in despair, but we also have a political situation which is admittedly going nowhere but which is seen from a positive oppositional point of view.

Marie lives in the Nord and is mentally adrift until an illegal immigrant helps her change her wheel, which plants a firm seed. She has a loving husband and two young kids, but still needs serious help. She loses her supermarket check-out job on a crazy fit of temper, and is suddenly caught up in the world of illegal immigrants, those risking their lives to reach the shores of England.

She very soon discovers the sordid reality of the immigrants' life, the danger of the violent police, the deaths by the desperate people to escape from what amounts to a death sentence in their native country.

But Marie's awakening comes at a price: that of severing contact with her own family, of bringing back fleas, and her children (completely wrongly) being called the children of a prostitute, of her school bus driver husband dumping children in the middle of a beetroot field in the freezing cold, etc.

Fortunately, although there may be no cure for the immigrants' problems, there seems to be a strong possibility for Marie to return to her family when she's cured. Obviously this novel is a political statement, but an important one.

My other Olivier Adam posts:
Olivier Adam: Je vais bien, ne t'en fais pas
Olivier Adam: Des vents contraires
Olivier Adam: Le Cœur régulier
Olivier Adam: Falaises

Olivier Adam: Les Lisières


Pippa C said...

How I may contact you, Dr Shaw? I have some new information about Karl Wood which might be of interest. Thank you.

Pippa C said...

How may i contact you Dr Shaw? I have siome possibly interesting information about a couple of "lost works" by Karl Wood, though the dates don't quite gel with the known last years of his life. Thanks

Dr Tony Shaw said...

Hi Pippa. The best way is to email me: anottsquair@hotmail.com