Soft in the Head
Marie-Sabine Roger, Frank Wynne
An international bestseller, Marie Sabine-Roger’s heartwarming novel is a touching and comic tale about the power of books. For fans of The Uncommon Reader and The President’s Hat.
‘Brilliant, uplifting’ Le Messager
‘Unique. The sort of book that makes you want to hug the author to thank them for the happiness they have given you’ Focus Vif
His mother called him a worthless halfwit while his fellow drunks at the local bar ensure he’s the butt of all their jokes. He spends his days whittling wood, counting pigeons and adding his own name to the bottom of the list on the town war memorial. So how could Germain possibly understand what a casual encounter on a park bench with eighty-five year old Margueritte could mean? In this touchingly comic tale of an unusual friendship, that first conversation opens a door into a world Germain could never have imagined-the world of books and ideas-and gives both him and Margueritte a chance at a happiness they thought had passed them by.
Marie-Sabine Roger presents a tale of quiet hope and discovery alongside a person's history that is profoundly sad. An unusual Bildungsroman that is candid and refreshing Financial Times Unapologetically heartwarming... comfort reading that celebrates humanity, love, empathy, the sense of community and generosity of spirit Herald magazine If you want summer reading escapism, you can't go wrong with this tender tale of an unlikely, love-filled friendship Big Issue [Margueritte] introduces [Germain] to books, dictionaries and libraries and shows him that it is never too late to learn new things or make new friends Standard Issue Quietly powerful... told with earthy candour and tenderness, spiked with wry humour... a profound exploration of how neglect can (mis)shape a life - and how books, and a chance encounter, can change it for the better The Lady Uplifting tale... full of humour and humanity, the story reveals how meeting the right person can change one's view of the world France magazine Sweetly charming, and at times hilarious... thought-provoking... this first English translation will sweep readers off their feet, wherever in the world they are Living France A magical and heart-warming book that should be on everyone's to-read list Mature Times Uplifting, bright and hopeful from the first page, this is a wonderful little book... Frank Wynne's translation is superb The Connexion Highly readable... Highly recommended... An easy conversational style... Plenty of books have focused on characters who have overcome disadvantage to achieve their life goals but few have done it with such a light touch. Germain is a big bloke but you can feel his inner being unfolding like a butterfly out of a cocoon Nudge It is impossible not to fall in love with Germain and Margueritte... this is book you could return to, especially if you needed to put a smile on your face Bookbag What book lover could resist a tale of someone's life changing when they're taught to read in adulthood? The Writes of Woman (blog) One of the sweetest books that I have read this year... a true elegy to friendship... managing to be life-affirming without being saccharine... a book truly to treasure Girl With Her Head in a Book (blog) Roger's novel is a quintessential summer read, that will stay with you long after you've left Germain and Margueritte's journey together. A tale of growth and new beginnings that will make you laugh, cry, and ponder all of life's little foibles If These Books Could Talk (blog) The effect of the whole story is a lingering sense of upliftedness and an appreciation for the small things in life... Perfect pick for a lazy holiday read or to keep on your nightstand for when you need a gentle easing into sleep. It's funny, touching and generally focused on finding the good in people and the magic that can happen when an unexpected friendship bears the fruit of positive change in the participants The Bookshelf Gargoyle (blog) I absolutely loved this book and was smitten with Germain's story and for this reason I think it should be on everyone's "must-read" summer book list The Bookbinder's Daughter (blog) This is a lovely story of the redeeming qualities of civil conversation, the possibility of friendship bridging many years and inquiring minds, and the worlds opened up through reading -- Darwin Ellis (Books on the Common) Indie Next A heartwarming and endearing story of the power of books, friendship and how you never know what life is going to throw at you... I can't recommend it enough Of Beauty and Nothingness (blog) I enjoyed the fact that it was an ode to literacy, reading and power of words Constantly Moving the Bookmark (blog) A book about books, this novel is delightfully satisfying... It's hard to say exactly how wonderful and well-written Soft in the Head is without quoting a swath of text The Worm Hole (blog) Every once in a while, it does you good to read something that makes you think and question perceptions, and this does so in an entertaining and ultimately heartwarming way Jill's Book Cafe (blog) A beautiful touching story... Frank Wynne has captured its French essence perfectly With Love for Books (blog) A poignant story, and a good read CherylM-M's Book Blog A delightful little read In Neverland (blog) Oh, how I devoured this one... Easy to read, charming and with gentle but realistic characterisation... a gorgeous read. Highly recommended Shutters and Letters (blog) I really liked the developing relationship between Germain and Margueritte... the big picture of the story was lovely Book Sojourner (blog) The most touching book I've read this year BongBongBooks (blog) A book that climbs into your heart and sets up camp there for long after you have turned the final page In Words and Ink (blog) A timeless novel of human regard, respect and connection Fictionophile (blog)
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