THE HIDDEN LIFE
Nina grows up taking care of her depressed mother
and herself, filling the refrigerator, and collecting
social welfare checks. But she doesn’t know if she can save her mother alone, if she can make her feel alive again.
FORMAT: 140 x 205
WORDS: 47 000 approx.
PUBLISHER: Eyrolles éditions
ALL RIGHTS AVAILABLE except Chinese
Nina’s childhood is marked by separations. First, there is this violent argument that opens a first breach between two worlds. The world of the caravan on the wasteland where her father now lives, with a taste of vacation and transgression. And the quiet world of the apartment where, behind closed doors, brother and sister let their mother weave her melancholy around them.
And then one day, Nina’s father disappears for good. Her brother enters a boarding school. Daily life then tightens around her mother’s presence, which becomes more and more ghostly and desperate.
Nina grows up taking care of her mother and herself, filling the refrigerator, collecting social welfare checks. Entangled in confused feelings, guilt, disgust but also fear, that her mother who has only her, would not make it. Soon she no longer gets up, no longer dresses up, no longer goes out. Nina doesn’t know if she can save her alone, if she can make her feel alive again.
At thirteen years old, she has to find the strength to leave.
Marinca Villanova is a qualified psychologist. La vie dissimulée is her second novel, she is also the author of Les Dévorantes, published in 2019 by Eyrolles.
Key Sales Points
– The heartbreaking story of a child who grew up without a father, and with a depressed mother.
– A delicate and strong work, which brilliantly tackles the complexity and ambivalence of the bond between mother and daughter.