Oscar et la dame rose/Oscar and the Lady in Pink by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

Oscar et la dame rose

Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction, YA lit, French lit

Medium: French paperback

Synopsis: Oscar is dying.  He probably only has a week or two left.  His parents don’t know how to talk to their own child, fearful of his illness, so he’s left with the other children in the hospital, and the lady in pink, a nurse who most definitely used to be a wrestler.  She offers him guidance by suggesting to write letters to God every day.  In this way, there will always be somebody to listen to him, and the more Oscar writes to God, the more God will exist.  As Oscar begins to write, he also begins to age.  He ages ten years overnight, fends off ghosts, gets married, and escapes the hospital.  As Oscar is dying, he lives a life just as long and fulfilling as anybody else.

Review: This book was given to me by my friend’s family at Christmas.  They knew I was doing my best to read in French, so right off the bat: if you’re learning how to read in French (read: comprehension, plot, attempting to remember things that happened a couple chapters ago–don’t laugh!  It’s harder than you think!), this is the perfect book.

In only 100 pages, we are carried along with Oscar through all the trials and tribulations of his short and long life.  We fall in love with the characters, and struggle with Oscar’s parents.  We hold our breath for Peggy Bleu, the little blue girl, and we smile through Mamie-Rose’s stories.  Oscar et la dame rose is a poignant novella, and one that I think should be read by everybody, of all nationalities, of all ages.

This book left me in tears.  I felt as though I knew Oscar by the end.  In fact, I think we all have a little bit of Oscar in us by the time we finish this book.

“Tout le monde meurt.  Tes parents, un jour.  Moi, un jour.”

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