Photo of Maud Simonnot

Maud Simonnot is a French writer. Her biography of the publisher Robert McAlmon, La nuit pour adresse (Gallimard, 2017), has received the Valery-Larbaud prize and was a finalist for the prestigious Medicis essay prize. After L'Enfant céleste, Goncourt selection and finalist for the Goncourt des lycéens 2020, L'Heure des oiseaux is her second novel.

© Picture Olivier Dion

EUPL Country
L’heure des oiseaux (The Hour of Birds)

This novel is about the aftermath of the war on children and the abuse of innocent orphans, often the first victims of adult cruelty. The story takes place on Jersey Island in 1959. To avoid the cruelty and sadness of the orphanage, Lily, rejected as being different, draws all her courage from the song of the birds, her ability to re-enchant the world, the strange friendship she shares with a hermit in the “Forgotten Forest”, and the unconditional love she has for a young boy called “le Petit”. Sixty years later, a young woman, ornithologist travels from France to Jersey to investigate the past of her father, a pianist who also has a passion for birds. The islanders dodge the questions asked by this foreigner about the sordid affair linked to the orphanage… What happened to Lily and to his brother? What’s the drama kept secret for so long?

Photo of the cover of the book "L'heure des oiseaux"

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