The First Thing You See by Gregoire Delacourt
Review Date: 1 September 2015
Author: Gregoire Delacourt
Release Date: 10 September 2015
Publishers: W&N Publishers
ISBN –10: 0297871021
ISBN – 13: 0297871026
Available in Hardback, Kindle and audio
The Last Word Review
Gorgeous novel about two troubled souls who are not all they seem, both seeking happiness. A tender love story. Just try putting this one down
First released in 2013 in France following on from his best-selling The List of My Desires. Now translated into English is going to become his latest best-seller.
Delacourt’s latest novel follows a young mechanic Arthur Dreyfuss who lives a quiet simple life in the village of Long, France.
Arthur’s life seems to follow a routine with little chance of finding his true love. One evening there is a knock on the door and when Arthur opens it is a life changing moment. There standing in front of him is Scarlett Johansson the famous Hollywood actress. But all is not as it seems she is an imposter and her real name is Jeanine Foucamprez,
At first Jeanine plays the part so very well and Arthur falls for this and also for Scarlett and her ample breasts, to the point he becomes infatuated with them, but soon sees beyond this and to the real person. What we have here in The First Thing You See is a very tender love story. With some witty and humorous moments.
The thing about the Jeanine is that she has led a very different life to that of the famous Hollywood actress and little by little she lets her guard down. Arthur falls for the actress but little by little then falls for the real woman in Jeanine Foucamprez and the real person on the inside.
Jeanine has led a troubled life an object of desire for men as they see her as a sex object and women are just jealous of her looks. I really felt for Jeanine as all she wanted a normal life and just to be loved for who she really is not what people just see. You have to look inside to find the real person. For the first time she has found that in Arthur he cute and as much as he has desires for her he makes no moves until she is ready.
As you read through The First Thing You See, there are little hints as to what is to come for both characters, I liked the way Delacourt used narration in his latest offering it really does bring out the storyline.
The author has used various massages through the story about who we are and does happiness really last. As to Arthur and Jeanine I am not going to give away the remaining part of the story. You will have to read that for yourself.
This is a short story that can be read in a day and is the perfect Sunday read in bed with a pot of coffee and warm Croissants.
There is a twist to this book, the real Scarlett Johansson took offence to her name being used in the book and sued for fraudulent and illicit use of her name as well as claims about her personal life and wanted an injunction placed on the book. That aspect of the case failed. Though a number of lines from the original version have been omitted. Interesting thought is that if the book was first released in the states, no court case would have been allowed under the First Amendment rule.
This is beautiful tender love story and is really worth the read it is hard not to fall for both flawed leading characters and their search for love and happiness.
I would like to thank Sam Eades and Weidenfeld & Nicolson for a review copy.
Meet the Author
Grégoire Delacourt was born in Valenciennes in 1960. His first novel, L’ÉCRIVAIN DE LA FAMILLE, was published in 2011 and won five literary prizes, including the PRIX MARCEL PAGNOL and the PRIX RIVE GAUCHE. He is the author of THE LIST OF MY DESIRES, a runaway No.1 bestseller in France, with rights sold in 27 countries.