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Publication in France:
19 October 2017

360 pages

Nocturne for Stanislas

Annie Degroote

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Spring 2004 in the north of France. As she investigates the secrets of her family history, the young Hania uncovers the tumultuous life story of her grandfather, a Polish refugee in France, and sets out to rehabilitate his tarnished reputation.

‘Come this evening. You’ll hear some Chopin. '
When she accepts this strange invitation from an unknown woman in her seventies living in Lille, Hania does not for a moment suspect what repercussions this will have on her own life and that of the rest of her family. There are so many obscure corners in the family history of this young artist with Polish roots who grew up in the heart of the mining basin in Waziers, such as the embarrassed silences which ensue whenever her grandfather Stanislas Dabrowski is mentioned. So who exactly was he?
As the story of Stanislas is gradually revealed, Hania discovers a whole new chapter in the history of her Polish ancestors.


Annie Degroote is the author of Renelde, fille des Flandres, Les Perles de la Moïka, La Splendeur des Vaneyck and L’Oubliée de Salperwick, all published by Presses de la Cité. Her themes of predilection are family sagas, the quest for identity, forbidden love and exile. Several of her novels have won literary prizes.