Daughters Beyond Command

Véronique Olmi


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Europa Editions
29 September 2022
ISBN: 9781787704039
496 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Alison Anderson

“[A] gem of a novel . . . Heartstopping and heartbreaking.”—The Independent

“Full of wonder.”—The New York Times

“The brilliance of Véronique's writing is that you become intimately acquainted with the speaker's thoughts.”—Lisa Dwan (Actress, star of Bloodlands and Top Boy)

Sabine dreams of living as an artist in Paris; Hélène has grown up living between her middle-class aunt and uncle and her more modest parents; Mariette is learning the secrets of the crazy world around her. Daughters Beyond Command follows the evolution of a modest, Catholic family living in Aix-en-Provence between May 1968 and the momentous election of Francois Mitterrand in 1981.

The young Malvieri sisters watch on as French society changes and women gradually gain their freedom, while men seem to lose their way. The three each find their own means of succeeding in this new world and living an independent life, free from the morals, education and religion of their childhood. Their story resonates all the more poignantly as many of these freedoms, as established as we may have thought they were, are now under threat.