Originally published: 12 July 2018
Author: Raphaëlle Giordano
Published by: Bantam Press
Page count: 244
Reading dates: 13-15 July 2018
Star Rating: 4/5
Camille is approaching her 40s, she has a young son and is married and has a good job, yet her life feels unfulfilled and despite having all the things that should make her happy, she is not.
When her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, she walks to a house to try and get help. There she meets Sean Connery lookalike Claude, who seeing her distress (the car breaking down is the final straw) offers her a business card because he thinks he can help her. He is what is known as a routinologist and Camille soon embarks on a journey of self-discovery and surprising adventures in an attempt to find true happiness.
This is a translation of a French book which has been an incredibly popular best seller in France, staying at the top of the French charts for over a year, where it has now sold over 600,000 copies. It’s an interesting mixture of a story and a self-help book. Camille’s journey of self discovery is interesting and there are lots of tips to change your life and live the way you want to live instead of in the way you’ve fallen into doing.
One of my favourites was writing down the aspects of Camille’s life she wanted to change on separate pieces of paper – things like “I no longer want to neglect how I look” & “I no longer want to leave my dreams on a shelf”. Claude had her make them into paper airplanes then took her up in a hot air balloon to release them, so freeing herself. I guess we can’t all go up in hot air balloons but I think its a nice idea and could be adapted.
It felt very French in the writing (don’t ask me to explain how!) and I really enjoyed this unique mix of a self-help and fiction novel. It certainly makes you think about your life, the routines we get into and ways to change for the better!
Thank you to Transworld Books for sending me a copy!
About the author:
Raphaëlle Giordano is a writer, artist and expert in personal development. She lives in Paris, France.
Your Second Life Begins When You Realise You Only Have One is her first novel.