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Victoire: My Mother's Mother

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  24 reviews

The critically acclaimed, award-winning author of the classic historical novel Segu, Maryse Condé has pieced together the life of her maternal grandmother to create a moving and profound novel.

Maryse Condé's personal journey of discovery and revelation becomes ours as we learn of Victoire, her white-skinned mestiza grandmother who worked as a cook for the Walbergs, a f

...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by Atria Books (first published May 11th 2006)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  192 ratings  ·  24 reviews


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Claire
Victoire: My Mother's Mother, though the publisher labels as fiction, is based on the life and facts of Maryse Condé's grandmother.

Victoire was an illiterate, white skinned woman she never met, who worked as a highly reputable cook for a white Creole family, the Walbergs, a connection that her mother Jeanne, though raised, supported and educated by this family, appeared to reject.

Maryse Condé wrote this account in a desire to learn more of her family history, a quest that began by researching t
...more
Sara
Jul 13, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a very interesting book. It is a fiction story about the life of the author's grandmother that she never knew. I seem to gravitate toward novels that are translated into English from other languages and that have characters and settings far different from what I am used to. I thought the telling of life in another time and another place was done well in this book. Also knowing that it is based on a true story made it more interesting. ...more
Elise
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I love the beautiful way Maryse Conde weaves her family tale, so rich with details of life in Guadeloupe and other villages of the Antilles in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I was prepared for a memoir that read like a novel, even though Victoire was billed as a novel. Unfortunately, it was hard to get into this story because of so many authorial intrusions that didn't have to be there, in my opinion. I am still a fan of Conde, and I will continue to enjoy her books, but this one was no ...more
StephenWoolf
Mar 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
J'ai beaucoup aimé ce livre et j'ai du mal à déterminer pourquoi.
Le lieu ? L'analyse psychologique fine ? L'écriture ? Le sujet ? La démarche de l'auteure ?
Ça me donne envie de lire d'autres livres d'elle.
...more
Eastendleo
Feb 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
I don't always remember how or from where a book arrives on my list of books to read. Eventually, at the library, something from my list pops up as available to check out, and with the scan of my card, off we go for a read. And I don't do reviews, cover blurbs or publisher overviews; I just dive in and find out what I think.

So: Victoire... Within a few chapters I was having a disquieting premonition that things were not as I thought. It read oddly, at times seeming like a novel, at others like a
...more
Robert Beech
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An imagined memoir of her grandmother's life by Guadeloupean author Maryse Conde. In this book Conde says she aims to vindicate the heritage of a woman, who by conventional reckoning did not leave one. Her grandmother was the illiterate cook and mistress of a white man, whose house and love she shared with his white wife, who saw to it that her daughter (Conde's mother) was educated so would have opportunities that she did not. In so doing, she gave her daughter a chance at a different life, but ...more
Steph
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Writing about the history of one’s own family can be tough—especially when you are met with reluctant relatives, scarce material facts, and time’s inevitable erosion of people and memories. But with a few sources and some imagination, Maryse Conde was able to conjure up the story of Victoire, her mestiza grandmother; the matriarch and the genesis of Conde’s lineage. Victorie Quidal was a mixed-race woman born in the French-Caribbean island of Marie-Galante. Her “Australian whiteness” of skin was ...more
Claire
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Livre déroutant.
Le style donne du caractère, même si l'auteur utilise des ruptures dans ses phrases, qui laissent décontenancée. Et elle ne traduit pas toujours les dialogues en Kreyol. Certains sont faciles à comprendre, mais d'autres, non !
En tout cas, quand on le referme, on a l'impression de quitter la Guadeloupe. Et on brûle de savoir la suite, pour rester un peu avec les personnes qu'on a côtoyées et savoir ce qu'il va advenir.
En tout cas, ce qui donne de la force au livre est que ses pe
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Christelle
Maryse Condé fait preuve de spontanéité et d'audace au sein de Victoire, les saveurs et les mots. Elle raconte d'une voix forte qui se veut parfois tranchante la réalité qu'elle perçoit de la vie de son aïeule, Victoire Quidal. Avec beauté, simplicité et souvent sans langue de bois, elle évoque ainsi sa vie romantique et sexuelle, son activité culinaire et sa maternité épineuse.

Chronique complète : Victoire, les saveurs et les mots de Maryse Condé
...more
Avery Vinson
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Victoire" focuses on the mother/daughter dynamic between a Creole indentured servant and her progressive, educated daughter, and also, by way of character relationships and interactions, draws racist and classist issues to the forefront. Condé's auto-fiction relies heavily on a hybrid of research into the French Antilles and her own creativity, creating an historically rich and imaginative tale of her own family, and specifically of her grandmother, Victoire. ...more
Wanda
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A biographical novel written by the author about her grandmother whom she never knew. Her mestiza grandmother worked for French creoles on the an examination of the gender, racial, and cultural values found in the the various groups living in the Caribbean. A moving and emotionally packed work of fiction based on the facts of her grandmother's life as a multi-racial person in the Caribbean islands. It was a rewarding and interesting read. ...more
Kelly
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs -
Hard read but determined to finish. In explaining to the reader the obscure and complex history of her carribean roots and village conventions Conde loses the energy of the story at hand. It's a shame b/c the women were interesting and THEIR stories could have easily carried the novel with much of the anecdotal history moved to a seperate section following the story for optional reference. ...more
Rebecca
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A profoundly sad and deeply personal tale, grounded in history and revealing complex class and race relations in Guadeloupe at the turn of the twentieth century. Since I knew very little of Caribbean history, this book was an educational read, at the same time as being incredibly moving.
Tanya
Aug 01, 2014 rated it liked it
i love Conde's writing and wanted to love this book, but it felt unfinished. i still enjoyed it, but ... ...more
Michele
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
great memoir
Debbie
Jan 20, 2012 marked it as didnt-finish
the story of the woman Marise didn't know growing up. ...more
Ruth
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
A complicated story, but a good read.
Chrissie
This is fiction, but based on the lives of the author's grandmother and mother. This is where I will start with this author! ...more
Anne
Nov 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always with Maryse Condé, a gripping read, with the added depth here of a personal family story.
Anne
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bonaire
Biographie ou roman? L'auteur se pose aussi la question et poursuit son récit habilement. Un livre plein d'amour. ...more
Anita
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
beautiful book
Mallorie
Feb 25, 2010 rated it liked it
A bit hard to read but nonetheless fascinating.
KC
Jan 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Big fan. Really interesting woman and writer.
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Oct 25, 2018
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Jul 14, 2010
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Maryse Condé is a Guadeloupean, French language author of historical fiction, best known for her novel Segu. Maryse Condé was born as Maryse Boucolon at Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, the youngest of eight children. In 1953, her parents sent her to study at Lycée Fénelon and Sorbonne in Paris, where she majored in English. In 1959, she married Mamadou Condé, an Guinean actor. After graduating, she ta ...more

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“It was no shock to me that my parents, like so many others, emerged out of a kind of fog. My father, an unrepentant chatterbox, claimed that his father had gone to dig for gold in Paramaribo, Dutch Guyana, anbodoning his mother, who was breast-feeding her baby on the Morne à Cayes. Other times he claimed his father was a merchant seaman, shipwrecked off the coast of Sumatra. Where did the truth lie? I think he re-created it at will, taking pleasure in enunciating the syllables that made him dream: Paramaribo, Sumatra. Thanks to him, from a very early age I understood that you forge an identity.” 0 likes
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