What a Wonderful World
Original title: Un monde merveilleux
A « behind closed doors and at the same time a road trip novel » (…) we can follow [Paul Colize] until the end of the world. — RTBF, Sous Couverture
A novel so relevant by now (…) when finishing reading we want so much to turn back the pages again and read some previous parts. — Connaissez-vous
A book full of mystery that questions deeply both filiation and retaliation. — L’Avenir
In the Mercedes 220D driving smoothly on a long French road, the latest news from the world have been filling the air for hours : the forthcoming concert of The Rolling Stones in Brussels, the Kippur War – « everything is under control » according to General Dayan…
Behind the steering wheel, Daniel Sabre, a giant wearing a well cut and dark moustache, tries very hard to calm down. But as far as he can see, his car is stuck in a unexpected trafic jam. Despite an early start from Belgium in the morning, he might not get to Lyon in time, before night fall. Is he going to betray his superior’s trust in him ? For the first time in his career the « Premier Maréchal des Logis Daniel Sabre » is going to fail one of his mission before it actually begins.
His orders : do whatever his passenger will ask him to do. Go wherever the lady sitting at the back – yes a lady, that was the first surprise of the day – asks him to go. For how long ? Who knows ? Does she even know ?
At the rear of the car, Marlène seems to have a lot to deal with, writing on a notebook, taking out papers from a suitcase, putting back her glasses on her nose, uncreasing her very trendy outfit. He was told not to ask her any question ; just to listen and follow orders from her. What would be the next one ? What will she fancy ? Within a day he could not stand her anymore.
What is the purpose of this trip ? Why does she have to rush to Lyon before night is coming ? When will Daniel be back home to his family ?
In the following hours, Daniel does not know how deeply his believes, his world – of Man, of Officer – will fall apart : this road trip through Europe (Belgium, Germany, France, Spain) will turn out to be more an inner and « coming of age » journey that will change Daniel and Marlène forever. Within a week they will travel in Europe but also through time, memories and will both find answers to personal questions shut for decades.
Paul Colize is at the height of his writing skills : in a 1970’s scenery, he conveys a very subtle, stunning and moving face to face. He reveals the light and shadow in mankind and that even if we cannot change the past, we have the power to change the present.
- Selected for the Prix de l’auteur belge Club