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Waiting For Monsieur Bellivier

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  277 ratings  ·  42 reviews
'Are you waiting for Monsieur Bellivier, madame?'

Helena Folasadu should of course say no. She doesn't know the man talking to her, she doesn't know Monsieur Bellivier, and she certainly isn't waiting for him. But, bored of life, and sparked by a whim, she says yes. The go-between leads her to a deserted floor in an office building and offers her a large sum of money to sit
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published August 10th 2017 by Orion Publishing Group (first published September 12th 2016)
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3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  277 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

I had read a couple of less-than-enthusiastic reviews of Waiting For Monsieur Bellivier before I received my copy was part of a Weidenfeld and Nicolson prize giveaway. Consequently, I was delighted to find myself completely entranced by the novel! It is set in a wonderfully atmospheric Paris where simply 'sitting on a bench' is the best way to experience the authentic city. Rostlund gives us two distinct narratives which run alongside each ot
Chiara LibriamociBlog
Un romanzo divertente e coinvolgente, avvolto in un doppio mistero che conduce lentamente a soluzioni inaspettate.

Due storie che sembrano parallele e che finiscono per toccarsi di sfuggita, attese lunghe ma cariche di ironia.

“Aspettando Monsieur Bellivier” è una storia avvincente che si fa apprezzare per il ritmo calmo, ondeggiante, tutto da gustare.

Una storia che non nasce con grandi pretese di suspance o movimento ma che promette di donare al lettore un finale inaspettato e unico, in grado di
Katheryn Thompson
I love the concept of this book; that a woman sitting in a cafe is asked whether she is waiting for Monseiur Bellivier and, for whatever reason, says yes. This is what happens to Helena, whose curiosity leads to a mysterious job, where she spends the day on the deserted top floor of an office block forwarding coded emails to Monsieur Bellivier, and where the day ends with her being handed a bouquet of flowers by the receptionist. In another part of Paris, Mancebo accepts an equally mysterious jo ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Waiting For Monsieur Bellivier was an absolute delight to read. I was at first intrigued by the notion that a complete stranger could walk up to me and ask if I was waiting for someone, and that by simply answering yes, I would be exposed to interesting and exciting new opportunities. This fascinated me. When Helena is approached by a stranger and answers that, yes, she is waiting for Monsieur Bellivier, we have the beginning of a gripping and extremely interesting story. I honestly could not pu ...more
Sara Ratcliffe
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I had high hopes of this book, expecting it to be similar to those by Antoine Laurain whose novels I love. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected. It has two stories that happen concurrently, with each chapter following the relevant characters.

The titular tale follows a female journalist recovering from depression who ends up with a three week contract to forward anonymous emails in an empty office. While the concept is a good one, the execution is less so with only fleeting int
Sällan har jag känt mig så ambivalent i relation till en bok. Efter en lite trevande start finns ändå mycket att tycka om hos Röstlunds debut - miljöbeskrivningarna (efter 15 år i Paris kan hon sin stad), de två huvudkaraktärernas inre processer... Särskilt rörande är det att följa Mancebo, den karaktär vars trovärdighet jag tvivlade på under de första kapitlen. Jag uppskattar att romanens två parallella spår befolkas av en hel del trasiga, förvirrade människor - för mig en intressantare bild av ...more
P.D.R. Lindsay
A mildly amusing weird read. A novel to pass the time away and entertain one whilst hanging around. Not really my cup of tea.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
A good book to get back into reading - light hearted, easy to read. The ending is disappointing though, with few explanations or results.
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Quale sorprendente mistero si nasconde dietro il nome di Monsieur Bellivier? Beh, sicuramente una verità imprevedibile ma, in fin dei conti, niente di spettacolare. Confesso comunque di essermi appassionata alle storie dei due protagonisti, tra le quali ho preferito quella di Helena perché, a differenza della scialba conclusione che il romanzo riserva alla vicenda di Mancebo, la sua è coronata da un finale che mi è parso anche più denso di significato.

Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Met dank aan uitgeverij Cargo voor dit recensie-exemplaar.

Korte samenvatting

“Ik denk dat we allemaal dingen doen waarvan we niet weten of begrijpen waartoe ze leiden”

Helena zit van een koffie te genieten in haar vaste Parijse café wanneer er een man op haar afstapt en haar vraagt of zij op monsieur Bellivier wacht. Ze kent geen monsieur Bellivier, maar impulsief antwoordt ze ‘ja’. De man neemt haar mee naar een kantoor waar hij haar een contract voor drie weken laat ondertekenen. Dit is het begi
Katherine Sunderland
"If you want to discover Paris, it's better to sit on one of the city's benches. From there you can study several million people trying to find their place in life."

This is what Mancebo does, sits outside his shop watching the world everyday - "unconsciously registering everything that goes on in the street." Then one evening, in the wind and rain, a woman appears in the shop - in passages that reminded me of Rapunzel, Snow White and some disney / dahl mash up fairy tale - and asks him to spy o
Chrisje Stultiens
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wat een debuut van Britta Röstlund! Twee parallelle verhalen met een eigenzinnige insteek, die op het einde samensmelt. Een roman, dat je leest zoals je uitjes pelt: laagje per laagje. Aanrader!

Tijdens mijn research vind ik bijna niets terug over Britta Röstlund... natuurlijk niet, want 'Wachten op Monsieur Bellivier' blijkt haar debuutroman ;-). En wat voor eentje! Deze Zweedse journaliste woont sinds 2001 in Parijs en daar speelt het intrigierende verhaal zich af.

De cover oogt speel
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I was hoping this would be cute and quirky French-inspired story. It's quirky alright but more of a commentary on social isolation / mental health / family secrets and anything lighthearted and cute.
The story centers around two people: Helena - burnt out journalist and recently divorced mum who is struggling with anxiety and depression - and Mancebo - proprietor of a little grocery store and a man who is certain of everything in his life.
Restless but uncertain, Helena impulsively says yes when
Joyce Willis
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I receive this book as a Goodreads giveaway and I really enjoyed it. Helena is sitting in a Paris cafe when she is approached by a man who asks "are you waiting for Monsieur Bellivier" - she decides to answer yes and from there her life changes. She is given a strange job in a deserted office where her only role is to pass on email messages to unknown people. At the end of each day she is presented with a bouquet. Her efforts to rid herself of these bring a variety of interesting characters into ...more
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "Das Leben ist eine wunderbare Bredouille" begleiten wir die Journalistin und Alleinerziehende Mutter Hannah, welche unter leichten Depressionen leidet. Hannah liebt ihren Sohn und das Schreiben. Wie es das Schicksal so will, begegnet Hannah ungewollt dem Gemischtwarenhändler Mancebo, der fortan eine Rolle in ihrem Leben spielt. Obwohl die Begegnung zu Beginn eher unauffällig scheint, prägt sie Mancebo sehr.

Die Geschichte steckt voller Abenteuer und kleinen Wendungen, hat einen ganz eigenen
Harsha Priolkar
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Another dud after The Fourteenth Letter 🙁 Clearly my reading mojo has gone seriously awry 😜 I liked the premise of the story however far-fetched. It seems incredible to me that a women would accept an assignment the way Ms. Helena does in the book - especially given the times we live in (the book is set in contemporary times as well), but perhaps that's because I've never known her level of depression or is it desperation? That's the problem with this story for me - plenty of hints but not much ...more
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sympathische Charakter, ruhige Geschichte und humorvolle Einblicke! Mir hat der Roman “Das Leben ist eine wunderbare Bredouille” von Britta Röstlund äußerst gut gefallen. Die Geschichte ist nicht sonderlich spektakulär, doch das muss sie auch gar nicht. Mancebo, ein tunesischer Einwanderer und Lebensmittelladenbesitzer, hat eine alltägliche und ruhige Routine, die durch den Auftrag einer Nachbarin ordentlich durcheinander gewirbelt wird. Er schaut genauer hin und das Leben ändert sich für ihn, d ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Thanks to Harry Hartog Booksellers for the ARC. Rostlund's debut is about two people who each accept a mission from a stranger. Tunisian grocer Mancebo agrees to watch the building across the road from his Monmartre store, but as his observation skills grow, the dynamics of his own family become increasingly concerning. Meanwhile journalist Helena Folasadu is approached by a stranger in a cafe, and begins her own journey when she answers the titular question with 'yes'. Written with feeling and ...more
Giovanna Stellato
Quando ho iniziato a leggere questo libro , ho pensato che fosse piatto e noioso, tutto molto lento e ripetitivo . Solo con il proseguire della lettura mi sono resa conto che quello fosse l'obiettivo dell'autrice. Questi due personaggi che vivono nella loro routine, quasi incastrati . Il personaggio più sorprendente per la sua evoluzione però e Mancebo, che darà una svolta alla sua vita , un cambiamento radicale riuscendo a cogliere la vera essenza della vita , riuscirà ad essere finalmente se s ...more
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J'ai alterné les émotions, entre curiosité et attendrissement, perplexité et étonnement, mais j'ai globalement ressenti beaucoup d'attachement à accompagner les personnages dans cette lecture aux épisodes improbables. Le roman nous plonge dans les rues de Paris avec une authenticité rayonnante, et c'est tout à l'honneur de son auteur, Britta Röstlund, une suédoise résidant en France depuis 17 ans. Son regard est empreint d'admiration et d'amour, et cela se ressent. Très jolie rencontre !
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I feel like this book had so much promise. A journalist is given a mysterious job by a Monsieur Bellivier, and a grocer is asked by a mysterious lady from across the street to spy on her husband. Each story is told concurrently in alternating chapters until they come together at the end (as you’d expect). Unfortunately it all comes too late as I’d lost interest long before. There are so many unnecessary plot points that add nothing to the story. A shame.
Pauline Bellefon
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nice story with some suspense and mystery in our daily lives... I appreciated reading this book in English: not too difficult for French native speaking, and I also had the audiobook very well read and easy to understand.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such a lovely concept for a story; chance meetings that could alter the course of your life.
Once I understood the change in narratives in the first few chapters it was easy to settle in to the predictable (but definitely not boring) flow.
Enjoyed this book immensely.

It takes a while to slip into the feel of this unusual book. Yes, it's a mystery and yes, Paris is as much a character in the book as the people. But it's one of those books that is greater than the sum of it's part. I'm a little sad that it's over.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! It is quite different from what I normally read, but it was a nice change. The story captured me and I really wanted to know how it all fit together.
If you want a cosy book that is easy to read, I definitely recommend it.
Malin Celander
Jag befinner mig i Paris, en varm sommar, på en pall utanför speceriaffären vid Sacre coeur. Genom hela boken är jag där. Intrigen är ok men det bestående intrycket är definitivt miljöbeskrivningarna.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
There are two main storylines to follow that don't seem to be linked but the book is predictable enough to work out that by the end, the storylines will become entwined. Overall, nothing more than a casual summer read.
Stuart Hargreaves
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Twists and turns, a very good read indeed, set of course in France with good solid characters and a certain amount of intrigue. Recommended

Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 what an unexpected twisty gem of a story.
Charlotte Emily
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good holiday book. Easy to read. A little repetitive in places, would have liked more clues as went a long, doesn't wrap up until very near thr end. Enhoyed it though.
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