Dance with Lightning

Original title: Danse avec la foudre

Publication Date:

January 2021



Original language and publisher

French | L’Iconoclaste

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Debut Novel, Literary Fiction

Dance with Lightning

Original title: Danse avec la foudre


Once upon a time, in the heart of the post-industrial landscapes of Lorraine, was an indomitable working-class community – and an enchanting love story.

Figuette is a blue-collar worker and has been a single father to Zoe since his wife left. Moira was fragile and unpredictable, passionate, and irresistible. How can he win the love of his life back? He first conquered her heart with crazy, extravagant gestures. Now he must go even further… but his factory is about to close. He and his friends are fighting to save their jobs, but he cannot afford the seaside holiday he promised his family. To avoid letting his little girl down and to win Moira back, he creates a whole cardboard holiday resort in the basement. But nothing goes as planned…


There would never be another woman for him. There, standing in front of the mirror, he saw it with utter clarity. He could not live without her flights of fantasy. And if she made life hard, well, he could live with that. Sure, she was immature and selfish. Her refusal of the mundane, her inability to live an everyday life, was absolute and unyielding. That was the price to pay to live with her delightful eccentricities, the clouds that could part at any moment to spill out light. Let the storm rage: he would face it. He would be her lightning rod. On him, she could spend all the dark energy that burned her up and left her a defenseless husk.

The author writes:

When I was ten, I read a story that stuck with me: a retired couple told everyone they were going on holiday, but in fact they were caught hiding in their garage. They had been telling their neighbors about their amazing holidays for years, but they’d never even left home. I can still picture myself that summer, on my BMX, thinking it would make a fabulous book.

Today, all that remains of our industrial heritage in Lorraine are scars in the landscape. And fables, as true as they are comical, that the old folks never tire of sharing. For us children of immigrants, these are our myths.

A poetic social comedy • Jérémy Bracone was born in Villerupt, a mining town in Lorraine. His book is a vibrant homage to the life-affirming solidarity of the town’s men and women, mostly Italian immigrants, who used their imaginations to rise above poverty. His novel echoes the gentle poetry of Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful in the everyday heroism of a father doing his best for his daughter.

–      A gentle comedy on single fatherhood: a man ready to do whatever it takes for his daughter

–      A keenly studied portrait of a region of France devastated by the loss of heavy industry

–      An acutely observed novel where everything rings true, from the characters and language to the atmosphere and landscapes

Marketing Information

Print run: 4,000 copies