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The Confidant

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  2,696 Ratings  ·  402 Reviews
Paris, 1975. While sifting through condolence letters after her mother's death, Camille finds a long, handwritten missive that she assumes came by mistake. But every Tuesday brings another installment from a stranger named Louis, a man separated from his first love, Annie, in the years before World War II. In his tale, Annie falls victim to the merciless plot of a wealthy, ...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Penguin Books (first published 2010)
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Aug 05, 2013 Erin rated it it was ok
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Ugh. I had such high hopes for Helene Grémillon's The Confidant, but this book didn't work for me at all. From the first pages I struggled with this one, pushing myself to finish it for the sole purpose of being able to say it didn't kick my ass.

To be fair part the problem has to do with my reasons for picking up the book in the first place. I routinely browse the New Release shelves at my local library and got really excite
A book that will stay with me for a long time. The themes (motherhood, love, betrayal, desperation, etc) touched upon in the book were very thought-provoking. Grémillon did a wonderful job of leading me to despise Madame M in the first portion of the book (Annie's portion) and then within the first few pages of Madame M's portion, I found myself not only sympathizing with her, but understanding her.

One thing I think Grémillon did especially well was to make me think on that saying from childhood
Sep 24, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: passed-on
I wasn’t at all sure about The Confidant when I first picked it up. I was happy with the prospect of a story set in wartime France, but I was a little worried that the story was told through a series of anonymous letters in the 1970s. Wasn’t that just a little bit contrived?

Maybe, but the opening won me over.

I got a letter one day, a long letter that wasn’t signed. This was quite an event because I’ve never received much mail in my life. My letter box had never done more than inform me that the
Oct 26, 2012 Marisa rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book and I was feeling as if it would be a solid four-star novel, and then... wow! The very last paragraph came along and it earned that last star for an awesome conclusion. I was thinking that it was going to finish in the conventionally predictable manner but I was so wrong. I actually didn't see that coming. Sure, elements of the conclusion were not completely unexpected, but the very end was just brilliant.
I really liked the change in perspective among the characters. Th
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
After the death of her mother, Camille Werner is going through the condolence letters when she comes across a letter that is rather strange. First of all, it's not addressed to her - the envelope is, but the contents aren't. There's no return address. And it doesn't read like a letter, but embarks on a story. The writer, Louis, tells of meeting and befriending Annie as a child in the village of N. in 1933. He was twelve, Annie was ten, and the world was changing.

Camille thinks at first that the
Jan 09, 2013 Anita rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The plot of this book seemed quite interesting at first, but I just could not bring myself to like this book.

Yes, the way the author had handled the different points of view were interesting.

Yes, the historical events were quite accurate, and interesting

Yes, the plot seemed interesting.

Here is where it all fell apart!
The language was messy, and whenever there was a change of POV it was often unclear to me which of the characters were actually narrating. It might be that the translated Norwegian
First Sentence: I got a letter one day, a long letter that wasn’t signed.

Camille Warner is in publishing, pregnant, abandoned by her lover, and sorting through condolences from her mother’s death. One letter, much thicker than the rest, stands out not only for its size, but its lack of either salutation or signature and seems to be part of a story. As more segments arrive, Camille is curious, thinking perhaps it’s an author looking to be published, then intrigued as the characters begin to be id
Jan 04, 2014 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
What will an hopelessly deranged and infertile Frenchwoman do to have her own child? Everything.

I received my ARC of The Confidant from First Reads. What initially piqued my interest was how reviewers compared the novel to Sarah's Key; and having read and enjoyed that novel, I hoped to catch myself reading about drama and mystery set against the backdrop of WWII in France. The Confidant is similar to Sarah's Key in the way that they are both set on the same stage, and both writers organized thei
I finished this one last night and I can't stop thinking about it. The story and the characters are still haunting me even though I closed the book. I think this is one of my new favorites.
Ingrid Fasquelle
Mar 09, 2013 Ingrid Fasquelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hélène Grémillon signe un premier roman admirablement maîtrisé. Elle y aborde de manière touchante et audacieuse le thème difficile de la maternité et des femmes en mal d'enfant. Le Confident est un drame psychologique méticuleusement construit, sur fond de seconde guerre mondiale.

C'est un roman à tiroirs, qui se lit comme une intrigue policière et va de révélation en révélation. Jouant la carte du mystère avec talent, l'auteure exploite brillamment le contexte historique et jongle avec le styl
Apr 01, 2016 Aglaja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, 2016, audiobooks
Huch, das war ein Hammer-Hörbuch! Ich habe die 6 CDs wie nichts gehört.
Mal abgeshen davon, dass es sehr gut vorgelesen wird, ist die Handlung unheimlich spannend und gut gebaut, psychologisch auch sehr gut nachvollziehbar. Es wird noch eine Weile nach hallen ...
Feb 20, 2016 Bianca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Confidentul este romanu de debut al autoarei de origine franceză Hélène Grémillon. Un debut foarte reușit, dacă e să mă întrebați. Un roman credibil, plin de suspans, dar în același timp, o lectură plăcută și relaxantă.
Oct 04, 2015 Suze rated it it was amazing
It's 1975 and Camille has just lost her mother. Between her condolence mail she receives a letter from a man called Louis. He's writing a story which starts in the years just before the second World War, but Camille has no idea why he's writing to her. Louise writes about a woman called Annie, who was the love of his life ever since they were children. They were having a wonderful time, but then Annie became with someone a few years older than her called Madame M. Madame M. encourages her to ...more
Rebecca Graf
Apr 28, 2012 Rebecca Graf rated it it was amazing
The Confidant by Helene Gremillon was a very interesting read. I have to admit that I was a little confused at first as I began reading but quickly the plot came together and I found myself enjoying this story immensely.

It is the story of a young woman whose mother has passed away. She is in the process of selling her parents’ home and getting closure on her life. During this process, she finds herself the recipient of several strange letters. Each week she received a letter telling a story that
Oct 30, 2014 Laurent rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
C'est l'histoire d'une femme qui raconte l'histoire d'un homme qui raconte l'histoire d'une femme qui raconte l'histoire d'une fille.
En résumé, un récit à tiroirs déséquilibré, dont on perd le long des pages à la fois le fil et l'intérêt.
Andreea Andrei
Feb 20, 2015 Andreea Andrei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oricat s-ar spune, ura, la fel ca si dragostea, nu e de nepotolit.
Nov 09, 2012 Chelsey rated it really liked it
I found this story to be raw and eloquently powerful. It is written in the form of letters being sent to our main character, Camille. But after finishing the story, I am not so confident who the main character really is in this book. Whose story was this? I am feeling so many things and really am holding back tears and ten other emotions at the same time. I became so wrapped up in this story and was literally on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out if my speculations from the beginning were ...more
Jul 19, 2013 Leila rated it it was ok
It is hard for me to rate this book with only two stars.
This book got me interested because the main story is set in Paris, and during WWII, which I find the most interesting era because there is always something new to find out (or to be appalled at).
So, I can almost say that I hated the first part of the book. Writing was awful. All the sentences sounded the same, they were so monotonous, without any indication of feelings. I hated the characters. Annie was immature girl. And then there was a
Kathy Ginocchio
Dec 27, 2012 Kathy Ginocchio rated it really liked it
This little book intrigued me and kept me riveted from start to finish. It's actually kind of haunting me, as several days have gone by since I finished and I keep finding myself wondering, did I really understand that book? And the ending? One of those WOAH moments. I thought for sure I could see where it was going and then BAM! Love those!

This is one of those books that jumps back and forth between time periods, but I found the device quite appropriate. The story is basically about a woman in

Stef Eleane
Apr 18, 2015 Stef Eleane rated it really liked it
Un livre très bien construit. J'ai aimé l'approche de l'auteur, qui pour faire éclater la vérité, nous fera intervenir 3 protagonistes. Celle de Louis, d'Annie et d'Elisabeth (la femme, l'amant et le jeune homme amoureux éconduit). A tel point que nous passons d'un personnage que l'on va exécrer à un autre….

La dualité de ces deux femmes pour l'amour d'un homme et surtout d'un enfant est très belle et horrible en même temps ! Mais pour moi une question reste en suspens …Louis était-il un pion aup
Mar 24, 2016 Annie rated it really liked it
One of the most challenging ethical dilemmas I’ve ever come across is two parents battling over custody of a child when both have near equal claims. Like The Light Between Oceans, The Confidant by Hélène Grémillon is the judgment of Solomon all over again. On the one hand, I think the person who gave birth to the child—barring abuse—has a right to parent that child. On the other hand, once the child has bonded with another person, is is right and fair to take the child away and give them to a st ...more
Jul 23, 2012 Carolina rated it really liked it
My first Goodreads Firstreads win!!
The Confidant is a story about the power of love and the consequences of misunderstandings.

This story captured my attention because it was written from many characters' points of view. As you read through the novel, you realize that none of the narrators are reliable because each is missing a key piece of information. Each character had a secret that, if it were revealed, could have changed the course of all their lives. Though of course, the events in the nove
Jan 22, 2013 Candice rated it really liked it
I could not put this book down! I wanted so badly to see how the characters all sorted themselves out in the end. The book is set in France during World War II and in 1975. In 1975, Camille Werner goes through condolence mail after the death of her mother. A letter from "Louis" catches her eye. Louis writes of the love of his life, Annie, about how he loved her since they were children, about things that happened to both of them before and during the war. But who is Louis, and who was Annie? ...more
Ionela Acsinte
Sep 08, 2016 Ionela Acsinte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Nu ceilalti ne provoaca marile deceptii, ci nepotrivirea dintre realitate si navalnicele porniri ale imaginatiei noastre."
May 04, 2016 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un roman riche en émotions, dans lequel on apprend, suivant les différents points de vue de personnages, l'histoire d'une maternité hors du commun. On suit vraiment l'évolution de l'histoire en partageant les sentiments des différents acteurs, en se demandant jusqu'où nous pouvons aller par amour.
J'ai juste trouvé que certains extraits étaient quelque peu confus et que les passages sur l'histoire et la guerre arrivaient comme un cheveu sur la soupe.
"La vie, c'est dépendre des caprices de son c
Victor Morosoff
Feb 27, 2015 Victor Morosoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un livre très joli, dont le début m'a semblé même ravissant, pas nécessairement bien artistique mais qui montre des choses difficiles d'en parler. Et cela est beaucoup plus important. Hélène Grémillon est soudainement devenue, grâce à ce récit, une de mes auteures préférées venant de la France. "Le Confident" n'est pas tout à fait un grand roman, que les enfants, dans une centaine d'années, devront lire pour un sujet scolaire, mais il a, en fait, le souffle et la force d'un tel récit. Je le ...more
Dec 09, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Amazing novel--so unique and unpredictable. I found this book very captivating b/c the events that unfolded kept adding another layer to the story in way that was not at all formulaic. Gremillon was able to convey the story from different perspectives and so all of the characters became either sympathetic or unlikeable--not one came out as a clear protagonist. I also appreciated how the font and typeset helped to differentiate between narratives: letter, journal, internal thoughts. An excellent ...more
Jan 11, 2016 Camilla rated it liked it
Shelves: paperback, epistolary
It’s no secret that I am a sucker for books written though letters, also called ’epistolary’ books. This book had that one thing going for it, and I was pretty happy with it to be honest, but then the last couple of pages happened, and now I’m just like: WTF?

It’s a book written though anonymous letters to a woman, who’s trying to figure out why she’s getting these letters, and what they mean. Is it real? Or just a story from one of her author clients?

I love books like this, so yeah, I was on a
Difficile de reposer le Confident une fois qu'on l'a commencé...
L'histoire en quelques mots : Camille fait le deuil de sa mère décédée dans un accident de voiture, quand parmi les lettres de condoléances elle trouve un message étrange provenant d'un inconnu. Elle croit au début à une erreur, puis réalise peu à peu alors que d'autres lettres de plus en plus longues suivent la première, que son destin est lié à celui du mystérieux expéditeur.

Une histoire sur le thème de la jalousie très bien men
Aug 19, 2013 ROSE rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporain
A la croisée entre roman historique, amoureux et policier, Le Confident nous livre une histoire forte, sous une plume de qualité.
Ce n'est pas tant la recherche de vérité qui nous captive ici, mais notre besoin de comprendre ce parcours de vie et d'amour, qui même s'il est ici romancé, n'en demeure pas moins universel...

En bref : un contexte historique (seconde guerre mondiale) richement documenté, des personnages qui sonnent vrais et une sensibilité à fleur de peau pour une écriture vraiment agr
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Poème 3 26 Jan 22, 2013 10:42AM  
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Hélène Grémillon was born in 1977. She has degrees in literature and history and was a broadcast and press journalist before becoming a full-time writer. The Confidant is her first novel. She lives in Paris with her partner, singer and songwriter Julien Clerc, and their child. She is working on her next novel.

More about Hélène Grémillon...

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“Annie je uvijek bila dio mojega života, imao sam
dvije godine kad se rodila, dvije godine manje nekoliko
dana, i imao sam dvadeset godina kad je umrla, dvadeset godina manje nekoliko dana. Ako s dvije godine manje nekoliko dana ne znamo da smo susreli ljubav svojega života, s dvadeset godina manje nekoliko dana znamo kad je umrla. I pitamo se čemu onda postojimo. Ima ljudi koji misle da će umrijeti kad nestane njihov nerazdvojni par, ali ja oduvijek znam da nismo te sreće, moj otac nikad nije prišapnuo majci da se može “umrijeti od ljubavi”.”
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