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The Rest of Their Lives

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  865 ratings  ·  144 reviews

Filled with all the larger-than-life characters and enchanting storytelling that made readers fall for The Reader on the 6.27, Jean-Paul Didierlaurent’s follow-up novel, The Rest of Their Lives, is set to charm the world.

It’s difficult to find love in a profession like Ambroise’s – even his father despises what he does . . .

And while Manelle, a home-help for the elderl

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published October 19th 2017 by Mantle (first published May 2016)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever since reading “The Reader on the 6:27”, I have eagerly awaited the publication of this author’s next book, so I treated myself to this very lovely hardback version of “The Rest of their Lives”.

Once again, so many terrific personalities are captured and the nature of their unusual endeavours provides a surprisingly entertaining distraction: an unforgettable journey exploring the familiar facts of life – love, loneliness, heartbreak, and the inescapable fate that awaits us all.

Fortuitous eve
interesting novel which has a bitter sweet feel to it and was overall an easy going read
Angela Groves
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a seriously lovely book. There is no other word that can sum it up. The characters are wonderfully eccentric, yet so real. The story seems a little odd, but is so believable. And the love story? It almost didn't feel like one, it was subtle, almost secondary to the main plot. And it worked beautifully. If you need an uplifting book, something to warm your soul. This is the book for you.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
For all the Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew fans. This book has the most loveable characters and is macarbe, adorable, graphic, sad and just plain lovely.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book about an unlikely topic. I was very fond of the main characters and actually felt reluctant to say goodbye at the end of the book.
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely, well written and uplifting read. A quick read too. There are some sensitive subjects covered here but these are handled with the required sensitivity and dignity. Highly recommended. It left me with a feeling of hope and a lightness of being.
This is a lovely, gentle, uplifting book with relateable characters who are just so 'nice'. Even the less-nice characters have some redeeming features. While it feels like a light read, there are some deep issues around life and death to think about as well. A perfect book to read for a break from angsty teen reads or gruesome thrillers!
Lester Noel
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely enjoyable with a few moments of laughter and sadness
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started well but then I began to feel a whiff of misogyny. The females in the story are very traditional, and I thought the interpretation of abortion obviously written by a male. Why were the men in the book irresistibly attractive as well as outstanding professionally? Why were all the women homemakers or nurturers or both? Maybe I’ve read too much Miles Franklin.
Iveta Stoyanova
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-books
If there is a book that has the ability to warm your souls, that’s definitely it! ☀️
Megan Jones
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ambroise's profession means it is hard for him to find love, even his father despises what he does. Manelle, a home-help for the elderly in the same small French town, adores her days spent with her eccentric clients, she often spends her evenings alone. When an unusual request from Manelle's favourite client, eighty-two-year-old retired chef-gourmand Samuel, brings the two together for an unlikely road-trip to Switzerland, along with Ambroise's grandmother, it might be time for the rest of thei ...more
Judy L
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars

I wouldn't really call this a love story. Love played a minor act – barely even 3 pages – in the overall plot. So if that's what you're looking for, then I'll suggest you look elsewhere.

The premise of the story was quite interesting and the author gives a different perspective on age, sickness and death. In that case, the book would be a 4 star. I found Ambroise's job really interesting and the portrayal of death and how elders and their families approach the subject really insightful an
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful read that drew me in and had me emotionally engaged. Initially this easy read takes you on two parallel journeys, the first following Manelle Flandin, on her daily interactions as a home help. You meet the people whose lives she aids, the nuances of their characters beautifully developed. The second journey follows Ambroise Larnier, a young embalmer impacted by his estranged relationship with his father, a Nobel-laureate in Medicine. These journeys collide when 82 year old Samuel Di ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all I read this in English. So don't be impressed!!!!
Secondly, I read a lot of book reviews. It really is my porn.
I found this book in a bookshop, and I had no idea about it.
It had a nice cover, I read the back page blurb and thought, hmmm ok I will read the first sentence.
I inhaled this book.
Every once and a while I like a "Cosy Book" something out of my normal genres, slightly twee, hallmarky with a happy ending. A book to read snuggled up on the sofa with a drink that makes you like
Dianne Maguire
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ambroise and Manelle both love life despite not having found the loves of their lives. This is the story of the serendipitous circumstances of an unusual road trip to Switzerland which brings unexpected sadness and delight for them both. I love how this tale, well told by Didierlaurent and translated to
English by Roz Schwartz captures the humour, the dry wit and odd mix of confidence and humility so common to the French. The characters are lovably flawed and the story explosively positive. This
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meryl bookclub 2021 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Gorgeous, spare little tale of a handsome embalmer Ambroise whose profession has killed his love life, his Julie Andrews patissier grandma, handsome old Samuel Dinsky, ready to face death with pride square on, and his cheerful, but emotionally scarred home help Manelle.
As worlds collide and grave decisions are made, humour, care and affection abound giving us a rare look at the embalmer’s art and the profound gift that are life’s second chances.
A lovely, thoughtf
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, book-club
Meh... Feel-good, unrealistic story. It would make a good holiday read if you want to breeze through something light-hearted. I thought it started well with character development, but once the characters merged, it was all too fast and smooth for me. On one hand, it doesn't feel like it has enough depth to give us much to talk over in our book club, but on the other hand, it touches on topics (death, euthanasia, end of life care, etc...) that could lead to some great discussions. We'll see...
This was a light, easy and warm-hearted read; it moved quickly and did not take very long to get through. The flip side of this was underdeveloped, overly exaggerated, one-dimensional characters whose interactions with one another I often found unbelievable. Despite this, there were certainly some lovely moments which made this book worth the read, and although I probably wouldn’t do so again it was enjoyable for some light holiday entertainment.
Elyse Mcnulty
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars plus, plus, plus. A great and sweet story after the tense 2 books I just read. The son of a Nobel Prize winning Oncologist, Embalmer, Manelle, a Home Helper, Beth, Ambroise’s Grandmother and Samuel dying of a brain tumor are brought together for a wonderful road trip and the beginning of new friendships. I loved how their stories develop and how they are brought together for a trip you ill. Not soon forget. Fantastic characters
Bert Z
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very average French novel that tries to be quirky and cute but essentially fails on all accounts. The story is jumbled and seems to be all over the place and the characters are all uninteresting. The translation seems very basic so I think some of the supposed charm may have been lost through that process. NEXT!
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book claims to be about an unlikely love story and I'd agreed with that. An embalmer + a home helper to the elderly = a very unlikely love story! I'd give the book 4.5 stars if I could because it's well-written and sweet (in places) but it loses half a point for going a bit far into the details of the embalming process.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a huge fan of love stories but this was a charming book. It tells the story of home help Manelle and Embalmer Ambroise and how their lives come together. It's an easy read and translates well into English. The characters draw you in and I found myself unable to put the book down. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be recommending it to fellow book-worms.
Mike Gibas
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It has an elegance and simplicity that manages to say so much with so few words. All of the characters are full of life, and it has a joy that uplifts your soul despite the fact it deals so closely with the subject of death. It’s like a French movie, beautiful leads, quirky storyline, wonderful settings. I didn’t want it to end!
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I managed to read this book in one day!
I really liked the characters, especially Beth and Samuel! They were so entertaining and endearing.
I loved the plot overall, and thought the ending was great.
However, some of the details about Ambroise’s profession did make me uncomfortable initially, but I think this was the author’s intention as it links quite closely to his character storyline.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it basically one sitting. Realistically 3.5 stars, but it was like a sweet little pastry that was much needed after revisiting the Handmaid’s Tale. Sometimes I need an optimistic book that’s a quick read to bring me back after reading something dark. If you’re in that situation, this is just the ticket.
Melanie Moore
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored The Reader on the 6.27 so I was so excited to get my hands on his most recent book, The Rest of Their Lives. Jean-Paul has a gift for creating quirky characters that you absolutely love. The grandmother, Beth, was my favorite! So if you enjoy French translations, lovable characters and a delightful tale, then this one's for you.
Linda  Fitzgerald
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lovely read!

I love his work, it’s quirky and well written. Each character is one you care about and when you finish the book you have a satisfied smile in your face. I first read Jean-Paul’s book ‘The Reader’ and have since given it to several friends ......if you love to read you have to read this book! I only wish more of his work would be translated into English!
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A charming French book about friendship, kindness and love from an embalmer.

It's a bit slow in the beginning as characters are established and then picks up at neck-breaking speed towards a dark adventure with a spine-tingling twist at the end.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In English, The rest of their lives. I didn't read it in French but the English version didn't come up on Good Reads?.

Loved this book, it was an easy read and took you on an interesting journey with the interesting and quirky characters.

Another new author to explore.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Sometimes you don’t want to summon up the energy to read a book that is good for you, and would rather whip through something light. This book is very much in that second category. I don’t think I am a better person for having read it but I certainly enjoyed myself doing so. A light read.
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Around the Year i...: The Rest of their Lives, by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent 1 12 Feb 13, 2019 08:03AM  

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Jean-Paul Didierlaurent vit dans les Vosges. Nouvelliste lauréat de nombreux concours de nouvelles, deux fois lauréat du Prix Hemingway, son premier roman, Le Liseur du 6h27, connaît un immenses succès au Diable vauvert puis chez Folio (370.000 ex vendus), reçoit les prix du Roman d’Entreprise et du Travail, Michel Tournier, du Festival du Premier Roman de Chambéry, du CEZAM Inter CE, du Livre Pou ...more

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