#BookReview A Good Life by Virginie Grimaldi (translated by Hildegarde Serle) @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #AGoodLife #VirginieGrimaldi #PGCBooks #EuropaEditions Title: A Good Life

Author: Virginie Grimaldi

Published by: Europa Editions on Jun. 7, 2024

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Full of humor and compassion, a profound exploration of sisterhood, healing, and the ineffable beauty of life from France‘s most beloved contemporary novelist

Laughter, tears, the transformative power of love, unexpected revelations, and striking natural these are the ingredients that combine to make best-selling author Virginie Grimaldi’s American debut the feel-good read of 2024. Grimaldi is among France’s top ten contemporary authors and her uplifting, unputdownable literary novels have quickly garnered her millions of adoring fans. This, her American debut, is among her most delicately wrought and emotionally compelling novels to date. 

Emma and Agathe are sisters. They were thick as thieves when they were young but have always been as different as can be. Agathe, the younger sister, is disorderly, chaotic, and fiery. Five years older, Emma has always been the more mature sister, the defender, the protector, the worrier. Their relationship as adults is scarred by a tragedy that transformed their happy, ordinary childhoods into something much more complex and challenging. For a long time, Emma hasn’t wanted to be involved in Agathe’s life. But then they must return together to the Basque Country, to the house of their adored grandmother, to empty out her home and in the process to reconcile, to remember, and to pour out what is in their hearts. 

The story alternates between Agathe and Emma’s childhood and their present day, with everything in between, and readers see them as young girls, teenagers, young women, mothers, wives, partners, individuals, sisters. This is a story that encompasses whole lives, complex lives, women’s lives, asking all the while how the scars of the past can be healed and what, in the end, is a good life.


Tender, sincere, and memorable!

A Good Life is an intimate, poignant tale that sweeps you away to France and immerses you into the lives of two sisters, Emma and Agathe, as after being estranged for several years, they come together to clean out their late grandmother’s home and discover how to accept the things they cannot change, confront a past littered with tragedy and heartbreak, acknowledge and repair long-strained relationships, and ultimately learn to savour every moment.

The writing is effortless and polished. The characters are multi-layered, genuine, and scarred. And the plot, including all the subplots, skillfully intertwines and unravels into a delightfully touching tale about life, love, loss, guilt, grief, family drama, secrets, happiness, self-discovery, and sisterhood.

Overall, A Good Life is a beautiful mix of hope, heart, and healing that is not only a humorous, emotive, lovely novel by Virginie Grimaldi but one which I don’t think anyone could possibly read and not be completely absorbed and moved.


This book is available now.

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Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Virginie Grimaldi

Virginie Grimaldi was born in 1977 in Bordeaux, where she still lives. She is the author of nine novels and was the most read French writer for three consecutive years (in 2019, 2020, and 2021). Her novels have been bestsellers in Europe and have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Photo Pascal Ito © Flammarion.

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