Concerto to the Memory of an Angel
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In this vivid collection, Schmitt writes about regret and redemption, about the roles of love and memory in our lives, all with a lightness and compassion that is as rare as it is inspiring.
herbal tea. “Tomorrow, my fellow villagers, you will wake up in a village that has become even more famous, the village of Marie Maurestier, the demon who has become an angel, the murderess who had fooled everyone but would not fool God. She began as Messalina and she will end her life as a saint.” Marie felt as if she were somehow contagious, as if she were doing good to others, bringing them the light, the light she had received from Gabriel. “Ladies and gentlemen, I met a prodigious priest.
moment he steps on land, Betty springs out of a box where she was hiding, and goes to join her sisters to hold their hands and greet their father. How is this possible? Standing frozen on the pavement, Greg counts: his four daughters are there before him, thirty strides away. He no longer understands a thing, he is paralyzed: his four daughters are alive. He clings to the ramp behind him, can no longer swallow his saliva. Was it a mistake, then? From the beginning . . . The telegram was not for
for your crime in prison, you’ll be paying a debt to society, not to me. What good does it do me if you’re rotting behind bars? Justice will be done, to be sure, but I won’t get anything from it. Don’t you want to do me a favor?” “Yes, Axel, I do want to do you a favor. I absolutely insist on doing you a favor.” “Then from today on, you will obey me.” “All right.” “Swear.” “I swear.” Axel ordered another bottle of champagne and filled their glasses. “To us!” “To us . . . ” echoed Chris,
looked at each other with mixed feelings. Henri stood up and said with an authority that demanded a frank and immediate response: “Is it serious, doctor?” Professor Valencienne bit his lips, turned to look at the wall to his left, then the wall to his right, as if he were looking for inspiration and did not find it, and while looking at his white shoes he replied, “Worrying. Extremely worrying.” There were no better words for it. The President let out his usual swearword, “Oh, shit”; as for
Disturbed by the deep, rich, velvety tones of his voice, Marie stammered that it was the village that should be pleased. Briskly, he stepped closer. “I am Abbé Gabriel.” She shuddered. An angelic name, in sharp contrast to the deep timbre of his voice. “And to whom do I have the honor?” he asked, astonished that she had not introduced herself. “Marie . . . ” She hesitated to reveal her name. She was afraid that her name, which had been splashed across so many pages of crime reports, might