How Clarisse Sabard immerses us in “The Secret of Agapanthus”

How Clarisse Sabard immerses us in “The Secret of Agapanthus”
How Clarisse Sabard immerses us in “The Secret of Agapanthus”

Holly Goli, bookstagrammer and contributor to the 20 Minutes Books reading group, recommends “Le Secret des Agapanthes” by Clarisse Sabard, whom she interviewed and whose book was published on April 10, 2024 by Éditions Charleston.

His favorite quote:

The bonds of the heart are sometimes as powerful as those of the blood, never doubt it. »

Why this book?

  • Because Clarisse Sabard is one of its authors to follow in recent years. Sometimes nicknamed “the queen of the women’s novel”, each of her novels has sold thousands of copies since her very first, Rose’s letterswinner of the Romantic Book Prize in 2016. For the first time, she is embarking on writing a saga in several volumes.
  • Because one thing is clear: Clarisse Sabard perfectly masters the alternation of past/present. She manages to juggle between stories while making them intriguing. I don’t know if I preferred the present part or the past part because it was so well balanced. A first volume which attaches us to Flora but also to Joséphine. I loved discovering the Agapanthus, the exciting life of Flora’s grandmother, the secrets behind a painting and, now, I just want to read more!
  • Because Clarisse Sabard masters the rhythm well of the novel: we begin with a shift that hits us in the gut, that annoys us but which, unfortunately, represents today’s society… and little by little, we cannot avoid becoming attached to Flora. The past is just as intriguing and I loved discovering Joséphine and her passion for art, as well as her attachment to her dad.
  • Because it’s a beautiful family story, as touching as it is plausible. It is in the worst moments that we realize our love for our loved ones. In addition, it is an idyllic place in a village with welcoming, adorable residents who you want to meet.
NEW * The Secret of Agapanthus-Charleston

Clarisse Sabard, how did you come up with the idea for this new novel?

Above all, it started from a desire, that of writing a great saga. It’s a genre that I like as a reader, I think of Dumas, Zola, Régine Deforges or, closer to us, Lucinda Riley, whose successful series, The Seven Sisters, allowed me to understand that we could approach a saga by mixing current subjects with great History, while escaping with a good dose of romance. I already had in mind part of the intrigue around Joséphine and this artistic ferment of the Roaring Twenties, as well as the character of Flora, who finds herself confronted with a real media storm, even if I didn’t necessarily see a link between them. The rest fell into place during a stay I made in Normandy, between Dieppe and Etretat. The cliffs, the sea, the superb villas, these landscapes which inspired so many impressionist painters, suddenly became obvious.

It has now been eight years since your first novel, “Les lettres de Rose”, won the Romantic Book Prize, and it is still an acclaimed novel. Of all the novels you have written, what is your favorite?

This is quite a difficult question, actually! Obviously, I have a particular tenderness for “The Letters of Rose”, but as it is also my first novel, beyond the affect, I find faults in it, because the writing evolves over the years. years. In general, my favorite is the one I’m currently writing, because everything has to be built, it’s a new adventure each time, but if I have to choose one that’s already published, I’ll say “Un air d’ eternity”: it’s a tribute to my roots, but it’s also about the feminine condition, love and bravery.

For the first time, you are embarking on writing and publishing a series in several volumes. Was it a challenge for you?

It was a real challenge, yes. I’ve had this desire for months for years, but I didn’t dare take the plunge. I was missing a sort of trigger, I didn’t necessarily feel legitimate. It’s intimidating to think that you’re going to follow in the footsteps of authors you admire and who have excelled! Thanks to the encouragement of my loved ones and my publishers, I finally accepted the idea that yes, I was capable of writing this saga that I dreamed of. The teams at my publishing house showed incredible enthusiasm when I presented this trilogy to them and announced that I was ready to write it!

Can you use three words to describe “The Secret of Agapanthus” and convince your future readers?

Escape, mystery, romance.

The essentials in 2 minutes

The plot. Flora, an art gallery owner in Los Angeles, receives a box containing belongings that belonged to her grandmother, Joséphine, who left her Normandy village in the early 1920s to become a painter… To reconstruct her story, Flora will have to travel to several country…

Characters. Flora and her grandmother Joséphine but also Stella and Morgane, Flora’s cousins. Without forgetting the other characters who revolve around Flora and Joséphine in both eras.

Places. Corfu; Normandy or even the United States, we will travel to different continents.

The time. Nowadays for the period on Flora but between the two wars for the period on Joséphine.

The author. Clarisse Sabard was born in 1984 in a small town located in the heart of Berry. After a literary baccalaureate, she turned to commerce. When a stroke overtakes her, she decides to finally realize her dream: to write. Passionate about literature and travel, she now lives in Angers.

This book was read with happiness ! Once again, Clarisse Sabard shows the extent of her talent by offering us a first volume of a historical and family saga. We don’t see the pages scrolling and we get caught up in the game of intrigue. We now only want to know what happens next! Amazing !

To buy this book on Amazon

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