“La Maison de Bretagne”, by Marie Sizun: the surf of memories

The House of Brittany

by Marie Sizun

Arléa, 258 p., € 20

There is a cape which points its nose in the Iroise Sea and which is called Sizun. This is the pseudonym that the author chose for herself, in love with this inspiring Brittany where she writes all her novels, thirteen to date. In the heart of these landscapes splashed with spray, floating skies, swaying boats, shards of shadow and light nestle intrigues which, always with Marie Sizun, are tied around the family and its entanglements. The House of Brittany does not escape this recurring motif of disappointed childhoods, inattentive mothers, elusive fathers, conciliatory grandmothers …

→ INVESTIGATION. Make peace with your family

Arriving one evening in October from Paris, Claire is determined to sell the family house – that of her grandmother Berthe – located in L’Île-Tudy, in Finistère, where she has spent all her holidays since she was born. is small. Now in her fifties, she hasn’t been going for a long time. Too many accumulated resentments, old, unconsolidated sorrows are associated with it, she thinks. She decides to ignore the upstairs bedrooms – those of her parents and sister, the first are dead, the second has run away – and to settle downstairs, in Berthe’s bedroom. As she pushes open the door, she discovers an unknown young man lying in bed, lifeless.

Insane happiness

If an investigation is well conducted by Commissioner Brun, we quickly understand that the essence of the novel is not there. The vision of this body stranded in the deserted house will be experienced as an electric shock for Claire: during a second of madness, “Insane happiness” Didn’t she imagine that these “Very blond hair in short, messy locks” which exceeded were those of his father, of this father who died thirty years ago …

Under the sober and delicate pen of Marie Sizun, another quest is then sketched out. Step by step, Claire will unearth from the depths of her past fragments of childhood that she had killed or fantasized about around a dry and distant mother, a shady and hated sister, a father adored but who has them. abandoned… Where is the truth of the beings that we thought we knew? In what interstice of the heart is the lament of the absent? What spell is memory toyed with? By light touches, Claire thus draws on the palimpsest of her life a new interior landscape, perhaps more melancholy but appeased, leaving resentment and remorse on the way. “Life was there, simple and quiet. The one we hadn’t known how to see and whose softness and strength I could now perceive. “


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