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The Madeleine Project

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  46 reviews
"Simply magical. . . . Words and images, magnified in this book, are woven together in small strokes to create two moving portraits of women." —Lire

"A beautiful book that bears witness. An original compilation of traces, thoughts and photos . . . that form the strata of our collective memory." —Télérama

A young woman moves into a Paris apartment and discovers a storage room
Paperback, 285 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by New Vessel Press
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  172 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Jenny (Reading Envy)
This unique title comes from New Vessel Press, one of the publishers doing good work in translated fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. I received a copy of this through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. (And thanks to the publisher for helping with a technical issue!)

The Madeleine Project is something that started in Twitter, when Clara started documenting the unpacking and unboxing of a storage cellar below her new apartment. The life of the woman named Madeleine, who had lived in the
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I'm not ready for this book to be over. I want more!! Was that picture of LouLou? She lived 90 plus years, there must be more to learn of her!

This was a quick read. Only negative was I want more. I hope she continues with this. I need to get only social media so I can follow amazing stories like this!

Premise: woman moves into an apartment in Paris that belonged to a little old lady. The apartment was cleared out, but not her basement storage room, which had a lifetime of things in it. New owner
Kristyn - Reading to Unwind
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This by far is my favorite book of the year!! The format is Twitter messages that flow from one to the other. There are also some small sections where the author goes into more details about the entire project. (I had to go deeper and read everything on Twitter once I was done I wanted more.)

I love that we get to see the author's thought pattern as she is going through Madeleine's stuff in her apartment. We get to learn a lot about Madeleine through this thought process, but also the author. I l
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
The blurb for this book fascinated me, as I've always wanted to be the fortunate one to discover a treasure trove of personal items from a time past. (So far, I haven't had much luck!) The book covers the first two "seasons" where Clara finds and begins to dig through Madeleine's effects, left in the cellar in suitcases and boxes. Each little bit of the past intrigued me, and though I enjoyed the book, it was also frustrating. The format is such that the pages are filled with the author's Twitte ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The blurb for this book fascinated me, as I’ve always wanted to be the fortunate one to discover a treasure trove of personal items from a time past. (So far, I haven’t had much luck!) The book covers the first two “seasons” where Clara finds and begins to dig through Madeleine’s effects, left in the cellar in suitcases and boxes. Each little bit of the past intrigued me, and though I enjoyed the book, it was also frustrating. The format is such that the pages are filled with the author’s Twitte ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
I couldn't resist joining in this France Book Tour for The Madeleine Project. It is filled with many things I love: mystery.

What is The Madeleine Project? It's a project Clara Beaudoux began when she discovered the belongings in the basement that a former tenant of her apartment had left after the tenant's death.

Beaudoux started sorting through all of the photos and letters and artifacts of the tenant, who Beaudoux learned was named Madeleine, and slowly she began to post p
Beautiful hymn to life and to literature as community building. In a unique format and great respect, Madeleine’s story is revealed to you. Very moving.

my full review is here:
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it
As someone who just decluttered and moved (and needs to continue decluttering), this was an interesting book to read! Imagine finding a storage room filled with someone else’s belongings from a different era… and then imagine tweeting about it! It is an interesting way to glimpse into the life of Madeleine. At times, I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t “click” to enlarge a photo or “click” on a link that was provided (etsy, youtube!), so I did end up going online and finding the songs she ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the type of book I paused reading to send texts and do tweets and Instagram posts to tell the WHOLE WORLD to read. What an unexpected gem of a reading experience. I had originally doubted the ability to tell an emotional, compelling story through tweets - but the author manages to do so in spectacular fashion. This story has lingered with me over the weeks I've been reading it (I've done it in doses, to soak it all in), and I'm touched by the sensitivity with which the author connects mo ...more
Paulita Kincer
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Madeleine Project by Clara Beaudoux explores the life of Madeleine through the belongings she left behind in her Paris storage unit. The author moves into the apartment and when she finds that the cellar is padlocked and full of belongings, she contacts the previous owner's godson. He has no interest in the items, so the author saws through the padlock and begins itemizing on Twitter the boxes and suitcases full of memories.
I'm at an interesting point to read this book, since I myself am go
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: france, paris, history
The synopsis of this book instantly piqued my interest. The romance of a forgotten life stored away in a basement, tinged with sadness because seemingly no one who knew Madeleine was interested in the memories it contained. As Clara begins to open each box and suitcase, she shares the contents on Twitter, and like discovering buried treasure, the anticipation and excitement about what else she might find soon builds up.

I originally thought this was going to be a book based on her Twitter story,
Jen (The Bookish Blonde)
The Madeleine Project is one of the most unique books I have read, given it is a compilation of the author, Clara Beaudoux's, tweets whilst cleaning out the cellar of her new Paris apartment. Upon moving in, Clara discovers the previous owner, Madeleine, who recently passed away, has left the cellar full of personal items. As she begins to go through the boxes and suitcases, Clara slowly learns about Madeleine and the life she lived. Through the letters, postcards and photographs she finds, Clar ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book is similar to becoming an archaeologist, using objects and place to build a forgotten life. While archaeology requires a degree and a substantial knowledge of history, this book only requires two things: being human and familiarity with France because this is a story that is close to our hearts and close to our time; a time we still remember from stories. I am unhappy that the story tended to be short because I feel as if the book only scratched at the surface of Madeleine instead of go ...more
Andrea Lorenz
When Clara Beaudoux moved into her new apartment, she didn't realize she'd be inheriting the remains of another life. In her cellar were the possessions of the former tenant, a woman named Madeleine who lived there up until her death. As Clara went through the cellar, she began to document the various possessions and the effect they had on her and who this person, this Madeleine, might have been. I was fascinated to think about the stories that our possessions tell, what can be inferred and impl ...more
Arrington (agirlandher_books) Moore
This is a very unique concept for a book in two ways. The first is the way it is written; in tweets. Second, the subject matter of the book. In a Paris apartment a new tenet stumbles across a cellar full of the previous owners belongings. From there she unveils her belongings and comes to learn more about the woman who used to live there.

While this was not my cup of tea I would recommend this to fans of historical fiction. There are some really neat artifacts that are discovered in the cellar.
Anne S
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
I really liked this book. It is about a young woman who moves into an apartment that an older woman, Madeleine had lived in for 20 years and had died. Her godson had cleaned out her apartment but inadvertently left behind a storage locker in the basement full of her things. Clara went through them and posted on twitter what she had been finding out about this woman Madeleine. I presume that it was originally written in French but I read the English translation of this book.

I loved seeing the pic
Rhonda Lomazow
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A treat of a book .When Clara moves into her apartment she discovers a locked cellar when she opens it she discovers Madeleine the woman who had lived in this apartment till she passed away.Her life in memories diplomas postcard.&on &on.Clara shares with us this unique find in a lovely way a modern way posting pictures of her discoveries on twitter,.A lovely book she honors Madeleine &her life with this unique book. ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely and sweet! This "book" was essentially a printout of the author's long series of tweets on Twitter. Clara moved into a Paris apartment and found that her storage room was full of items left by the previous tenant of her apartment - a 90+ year old woman named Madeleine. Clara is fascinated by the woman's belongings and begins to catalog them on Twitter, along with photos and musings. This is a one-sitting book that will delight.
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Told almost entirely through tweets, The Madeleine Project harnesses the power of social media to express the story of a life lived before such things existed. A haunting portrait of the impact we each have, and the little clues we leave behind ... It makes you wonder what someone would make of your life if they went digging? What do the remnants of your life say about you? A short, but highly recommended, read.
Quick Review: What a gem of a book! I'm fascinated with quotidian history/a history of the quotidian, and this book delivered in a big way. A journalist examines the contents of the cellar storage unit for her new apartment and discovers and documents the life of the former tenant, Madeleine, on Twitter. I wish it were longer! Slight compliant: the image quality and image repro quality of the Tweets seem a little fuzzy...
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-vessel-press
This book is magical! The author discovers a cellar full of items belonging to the previous tenant (Madeliene) when she moves into her new apartment. Over the course of a couple of seasons, Beaudoux documents her discoveries on Twitter. I wish the story were longer! I would have loved to know more details on the content of the letters.
georgia bookblast
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A life story in objects, it is both a pictorial biography and an illustrated catalogue of everyday things pulled together and listed at random. A slice of social history is conveyed through the life of an unknown woman who is not a celebrity – for a refreshing change!

Reviewed on The BookBlast® Diary 2017
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book about the life of Madeleine. When Claire moves into her new Paris apt she is told of the storage space in the cellar that is hers as well. She finds many of Madeleine's things and puts together the Madeleine Project - a series of tweets to tell the story of her life. Interesting concept.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is pure magic. I never, ever wanted it to end and want to learn French *just* so I can read all of the Twitter archives online. My favorite book of 2017 (and easily one of the best of my reading life.)
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting story told in tweets. Amazing how much you can learn about someone from what they've left behind.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oops
I wanted to like this book more than I did. The premise was interesting, but execution failed.
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
This was simply wonderful ❤️
Joan Damiens
Apr 27, 2020 rated it liked it
A good documentary, with an intense participation of the author.
Wendy E.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting concept - I will share with my students.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Love, love, love this. Archives and social media collide. Quick read, simple, but also really moving. Basically an archivist's playground.
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