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Publication in France:
09 August 2018

192 pages

I Want the Night to Take Me

Isabelle Desesquelles

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The major literary event of the 2018 season.

Far from the commotion of everyday life, Clemence, who will soon turn eight, grows up in a charming house with parents who are full of imagination.

In her distinctive voice, Clémence shares her memories, her little misfortunes and her happiness. She speaks of the grace of her mother and her love of reading out loud, which transports them to another world. And of the incommensurable love that binds her parents, of Lise, her capricious and angry cousin, of her grandmother, who is a genuine force of nature, and of Trottinette, her mischievous tortoise whom she watches over like a fussy mother. And then there’s Just, the boy she loves and will always love. Indeed, their love has been immortalised in the massive fresco they have painted on the wall of the school playground; transmuted into paint, they will remain hand in hand until the end of time in their poetic and many-coloured universe.

And yet Clémence doesn’t use the vocabulary of a little girl and her thoughts suggest a cruel mystery lurking in the background. What can have happened to tinge a child’s innocence with bleakness in this way?

A dizzying and poetic immersion in the universe of childhood, Je voudrais que le nuit me prenne tells of the dangers of happiness. Against a backdrop of troubled feelings shot through with rays of joy, Isabelle Desesquelles explores the fragile bonds which connect us to our loved ones and the formidable power of memories. A deeply moving novel which is a celebration of memory, the only antidote to the loss of happiness.

technical characteristics

Now author, Isabelle Desesquelles used to be a bookseller. Following on from Les Hommes meurent, les Femmes vieillissent (Belfond, 2014), which was nominated for the Prix Femina and has sold over 10,000 copies, Je voudrais que la nuit me prenne is her 11th novel.