The Strange Journey of Mr. Daldry is the twelfth novel by the bestselling French author Marc Levy that has been translated into 42 languages.
It was released on April 2011. Marc Levy’s novels are often sadly considered as ‘novels for the beach’, as they broach subjects such as love, friendship, family, childhood and loneliness, with often some touches of the supernatural. I found the author’s style of writing easy to follow, and the plot doesn’t contain anything that goes beyond one’s understanding. There is always a detective side to his books, and the characters are touching and endearing.
In The Strange Journey of Mr. Daldry, Alice – one of the main characters – is a young woman. She leads a peaceful life in the 1950s London, making perfumes. On Christmas Eve, her life changes forever. During an outing to Brighton, a fortune teller makes a mysterious prediction about her future. That she has two lives – one which she is aware of and another which is waiting for her. Alice doesn’t believe in the soothsayer and is quite sceptical. Even then, she cannot stop thinking about the old woman’s words. Her neighbour, Mr Daldry, who is an eccentric, funny eternal bachelor, finally convinces her to take the fortune teller’s prediction seriously. Soon, they both embark on a journey leading Alice into her past life.
This novel takes the reader into the heart of the 1950s Europe. Alice’s wonderful journey becomes all the more exciting thanks to her olfactory memory, which is her most reliable memory. And the passionate Mr Daldry will surprise the readers many times, while they go through lives haunted by demons of a recent past. So, grab this book and be ready for an amazing journey.
L’étrange voyage de Monsieur Daldry, Marc Levy, Robert Laffont, 432p., 21.50€