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Britta Rostlund Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Waiting For Monsieur Bellivier (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Britta Rostlund is an author who has lived in Paris for the past fifteen years. When she is not writing books, she is working as a freelance journalist. During that line of work she covers many topics throughout Paris and France. She has covered stories on Paris Fashion Week and French politics, she is a multifaceted writer who debuted writing fiction with her first novel, Waiting for Monsieur Bellivier.

The book was originally written in French, but has since been translated into numerous languages.

Rostlund was educated as a conversation therapist, and also studied art science at Stockholm University and at La Sorbonne. She would move to Paris in 2001 where she would work as a freelance journamlist and a magazine editor. Her first book was known as “At the foot of Montmartre” in French, but got the alternate title for the English translation.

Rostlund followed her first book up with Where the Sun Rises in the West which was released in 2019. The book is inspired by her own life and a trip to Ploumanac’h in Brittany on the French west coast. She took her children up on a rock to get a better view and, for a second, her son tripped and she nearly lost him. The thought stuck with her as the scare was so real which lead her to the idea for the book.

Waiting for Monsieur Bellivier is the first book by Britta Rostlund and her first book to be translated into English. The book takes place during a Parisian heat wave during a warm Paris summer. The book is told in the form of two protagonists who are each the star of their own separate story and the book switches back and forth between the other characters. The through line between the two of them is that they are offered some well paid extra work and both of them accept the offer.

Mancebo is a Tunisian grocer who spends most of his days sitting on a stool on the pavement. The stool is in front of his shop and he spends most of his days there. One day, he is asked to keep an eye on the man who lives in the flat across from his shop. The man’s wife is the one who makes the request and she is offering good money for him to watch the man and report to her on all that he sees her husband do. Mancebo has no reason to say no as he is sitting out there all day anyway and he’s not exactly in a position to turn down extra morning.

The job has some unintended consequences for Mancebo though. He finds that not only is he taking more notice of the flat opposite him where the man lives, but he is also taking more notice of everything else that is happening on the street outside of his shop and the neighborhood. More importantly, he is taking a bigger notice of what is going on inside his own home and realizes a number of things that he had absolutely no idea about. Working for some extra money to watch this man has opened up a world of unintended consequences for Mancebo and he starts to suspect that his wife and cousin are leading their own secret lives. As Mancebo deals with this, his own life begins to take a number of twists and turns that he never expected of it.

The other protagonist is this story is Helena who works as a freelance writer. For her extra job to make some money to pay her bills, she takes a job in an office where she is asked to sit and forward the occasional email to Monsieur Bellivier.

How she got the job is an interesting story in itself. She is approached one day by a man who says to her “Are you waiting for Monsieur Bellivier, madame?” She is definitely not waiting on him and doesn’t even know who he is, but she says yes. She’s bored of her life and looking for a bit of adventure, so she says yes. Now, she has this new job forwarding emails.

The emails are rather few and far between though which allows Helena time to work on her writing in-between the emails that come. She usually writes at a cafe, but she is getting paid to do this job and also gets free coffee. It’s an easy choice for her to take this job.

Helena’s job also has some unintended consequences as each day that she works, she is presented with a bunch of flowers by the receptionist. Every day when she finishes her shift, she is given flowers. The flowers have no note and she has no idea who they are from. She presumes they are from Monsieur Bellivier, but she is really not sure. Monsieur Bellivier is the name of her boss, but that’s all that she knows about him. Making matters even stranger for her, the emails that she is pressed with forwarding are

Helena doesn’t really want the flower and is always trying to take steps to get rid of them on her way home each day. She goes to great lengths to get rid of them each day on her way home which adds further complications to her life as the mere act of getting rid of them takes her life in twists and turns that she couldn’t have possibly expected.

What the two don’t know is that they are on the path to meet each other as their missions will both overlap in surprising ways that neither can expect.

This book does a fantastic job of highlighting the City of Light while also shining a light on the secrets that city holds. The city harbors secrets in the cafes and courtyards, and if you’re not paying attention – like many don’t, there are more secrets than the people of the city could ever suspect.

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