First Lady

Original title: Première dame

Publication Date:

January 2019



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction

First Lady

Original title: Première dame

  • 2 Seas Represents: English North American, Dutch and Nordic rights
  • Rights sold: Film (Avenue B Productions)
  • Selected for the Prix Récamier du jeune écrivain 2019.


A true story, narrated with empathy and intensity. — Blandine Hutin-Mercier, La Montagne

A tender and sharp chronicle. — Jean-Marc Le Scouarnec, La dépêche du Midi

There is no doubt that this novel brings certain cases to mind, but above all it analyzes the reasons of women’s resignation. — Sylvie Bullo, Télé 2 semaines

Euphoria and family pride greet Paul’s announcement that he will be standing in his party’s primaries for the presidential election. Marie the devout wife begins a notebook to mark the occasion in which she intends to chronicle the events of the next two years. Marie has always been at Paul’s side and this partner in the shadows does not anticipate how the spotlight trained on her husband will bring her into the limelight too – especially when revelations concerning her status as spouse and mother start to come out.

Her intimate journal then becomes an outlet where she stoically lists all the bitter pills she has to swallow. An intimate examination of a woman who has lived only for her loved ones and discovers that she exercises power of an ambiguous kind, as well as a social critique of a privileged milieu cut off from reality, this lively novel blends the irony of false resignation with an ambivalent feminism.

A criminal lawyer, Caroline Lunoir lives and works in Paris. She has written two other novels, both published by Actes Sud: La Faute de goût (2011) and Au temps pour nous (2015, Prix littéraire des Sables-d’Olonne – Prix Simenon).