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Christian Signol

Author of Les cailloux bleus

45+ Works 612 Members 6 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: By Le grand Cricri - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12646616


Works by Christian Signol

Les cailloux bleus (1984) 27 copies
Marie des brebis (1989) 26 copies
La rivière Espérance (1990) 26 copies
Bleus sont les étés (1998) 25 copies
Une année de neige (2002) 21 copies
Le royaume du fleuve (1991) 21 copies
L'enfant des Terres blondes (1994) 19 copies
Les chemins d'étoiles (1988) 19 copies
Les menthes sauvages (1985) 18 copies
Une si belle école (2010) 18 copies
La promesse des sources (1998) 18 copies
L'âme de la vallée (1993) 18 copies
Les vrais bonheurs (2005) 18 copies

Associated Works


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Signol, Christian
Legal name
Signol, Christian
Country (for map)
Quatre-Routes-du-Lot, Lot, France



I have a friend who lives in the north of France with whom I share some favourite novels, but increasingly she wishes to read novels that have a "feel good" factor. After a recent visit she has left me with four novels that she thinks I might like, I struggled to find some books that I could give her in return, but I am wondering whether I could recommend to her Cette vie ou celle d'après, which I have borrowed from the library. It is a bitter-sweet novel, but one that I found moving in it's own quite way. It was published in 2003. Wiki claims that Chistian Signol is one of the most widely read authors in France today and I suspect one could always find one of his novels in the local library.

We meet Blanche an elderly lady living alone just outside the village of Villard, which is set high up in a forest of the Alps. It is covered in snow from November to March making it difficult for an elderly lady living on her own to negotiate the footpath down to the shops. Blanche was born in the town where she was the schoolmaster in the local school, which she can see from the balcony of her chalet. She gazes down and thinks of the past. She has a daughter living in Marseilles who leads a busy life and struggles to find the time to visit her mother. Blanche despite her age has moved back up to the mountain village fairly recently, so that she can connect more closely with her memories of Julien the love of her life. The novel charts its course through a hard winter in the mountains where Blanche waits expectantly for her daughter to visit, while she thinks on her past life and its painful memories. The novel flows beautifully as small events in the difficulties of day to day living causes Blanche to dwell on her past.

Blanches story is told largely in chronological order, no obvious usage of 'stream of conscious' technique; rather the author concentrates on evoking the quality of a life lived in the high mountains. There is a poetry and softness in the language that still manages to portray the harsh living conditions: Blanche is always cold, but this could be because of her age or because of her memories. All is revealed as the novel moves towards an expected, but satisfying conclusion. A feel good or a feel sad factor? I am not sure; 4 stars.
… (more)
baswood | Aug 15, 2023 |
The life of a fictional rural school teacher. An interesting way to learn something of developments in the French rural school system in the second half of the twentieth century. But a maudlin and over romanticised version of life. Just too good to be true. Which it isn't.
Steve38 | May 9, 2016 |


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