waiting for monsieur bellivier cover


"«Are you waiting for Monsieur Bellivier, madame?»"
Britta Röstlund

One of the most extravagant books I've ever read, and one of the most unusual and entertaining reading I've had the pleasure of discovering.


A fresh writing, a story told in an almost discreet way, without sensationalism and yet so full of mystery that it is irresistible, up to the last page.

Two main characters play two different games. Helena and Mancebo have one thing in common both see, from their workplace, Montmartre and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and both living in a busy and indifferent Paris, this is their playground.
They have chosen to play but do not know what game it is. They have no idea of what jumble awaits them, they only decided to say "yes" to an explicit question asked by strangers and both, with that "yes", started a series of events with unpredictable consequences.

The key factor of narration is precisely this: the unpredictability, the succession of causes and effects built with intelligence, and with such inventiveness and such a grace to succeed to arouse in me, as I read, a great admiration for the author and for the story itself. cover of Waiting for Monsieur Bellivier, Weidenfeld & Nicolson edition

Unusual, eccentric, this book will drag you into a crescendo of mystery that will destabilize normality, questioning the very concept of normality. It will make you stagger between a daily life full of habits, and a healthy small dose of madness.

What I most loved about this book is its originality, the congeniality of the characters and this desire to tell, that has confirmed to me that there are still writers who do not write to sell, but write to tell.

Another important aspect of this novel, it does not allow you to label it.
There is the mystery but it is not a thriller.
It is not a romance, but if I had to give it a further adjective, besides those that I have destined to it until now, it would be romantic; romantic not in a loving sense, but in the most lyrical sense of the term because the story is delicate and dreamy at the same time.

It is not an action novel, but in the behavior of the characters there is so much adventure and a lot of courage. Helena and Mancebo do not think about the risk, but it is always present since, with their "yes", they go beyond the limit marked by their everyday life, and they enter into a next level, more difficult but also more engaging.

You feel the heart in this novel, the style and passion of the writer who, with this first novel, leaves an indelible mark thanks to the vivacity of her ideas.

And "Waiting for Monsieur Bellivier" what does it leave to the reader?
A smile that will be printed on you from the first pages, and a positive charge that it will settle in your mind when the reading ended.

Unforgettable. You will understand why when you enter with Helena and Mancebo in the playing field, as spectators, of course, but if you ever want to dare almost as much as they do, maybe the next ones to play will be you.


foto dell'l'autrice Britta Röstlund

Title: Waiting for Monsieur Bellivier
Author: Britta Röstlund
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Original title: Vid foten av Montmartre
Hardcover: 352 pages

the quote at the beginning of the article: from Weidenfeld & Nicolson edition, 2019
images 1 & 2:
Weidenfeld & Nicolson cover
image 3: author Britta Röstlund, from dedicated page
of Italian publisher Marsilio Editori - © photo by Göran Segeholm