Nowadays, Fatima remembers. Memories of her childhood in Algiers, her father’s kindness, her mother’s humour, and squabbles with her little brother. Set in the early 1960s against a backdrop of the political events that shook Algeria before independence, her early childhood was much like any other. Everything changed, however, on November 11, 1960, when Baba – Fatima’s father – suddenly goes missing. This disappearance marks the end of a time of innocence for the little girl. Later, during a demonstration for Algerian independence, Fatima accidentally loses grasp of her mother’s hand, and they are separated. While desperately searching for her mother in the crowd, she is shot. After receiving treatment in hospital, she is then sent, along with other Algerian children, to France, and is adopted by a couple in Paris. Seemingly benevolent at first, her adoptive mother soon turns out to embody the racist ideas and attitudes of the time. Fatima becomes “Fabienne” and suffers derogatory remarks and acts of violence. 

Convinced that her family is still alive, she runs away in the hope of reaching Algiers. On her way, she meets Solange, a Parisian woman who has also suffered greatly, who puts her in contact with Salim, an activist for the Independence of Algeria. With their help, she manages to get back to her hometown, overcoming numerous struggles on the way. When she finally arrives at the door of the old family home, she knocks with all her strength and calls out to her father…

With rhythmic and striking writing, Christophe Léon tackles a pertinent topic: the forced separation of families by a government. Although the action takes place in a specific historical context, it is simply the backdrop against which Fatima’s voice resonates. While she is sensitive to the events she witnesses, her thoughts are entirely focused on her own mission to be reunited with her family. A tense novel that can be read in one sitting.

Age: +13

Pages : 160

Size: 14 x 21 cm

Rights sold: All rights available

ISBN : 9782889085521

Publication: 2021

Keywords: , , , , , ,


In stock (can be backordered)

Inscription à la newsletter