Forty-seven-year-old Jocelyne lives a simple life in France, married to her husband of 21 years. Her two children are grown and don't seem to need her anymore. She owns a small fabric shop and publishes a blog with a modest following. Her life, although sometimes mundane, is safe and secure. On a whim she buys a lottery ticket and begins to make small, ordinary lists of what she would buy if she won. She contemplates how her life would change with a large sum of money, how it might change everyone and everything she loves, maybe for the worse. So when she discovers she holds the winning ticket for over 18 million euros, she doesn't rush to cash it in, but instead hides it in a shoe in a closet. While her riches reside in a shoe, Jocelyne's life suddenly begins to change all on its own. Her blog followers multiply, her shop sales increase, and her husband, who has had a tendency to be somewhat despondent and sometimes cruel, becomes more loving and tender. Now Jocelyne is even more convinced that cashing the check will spoil it all, and she decides she will burn it and keep her life just the way it is---but will she really be able to turn away from all those riches?
Grègoire Delacourt's novel is elegantly written with well-developed characters that are lively and likable. The plot examines the universal precept that we should strive to be content in whatever state we are in, and what may happen if we are not. Originally published in French, this short novel is inspirational and thought-provoking.
Reviewed by cc, 10/14. Other reviews by cc.