Ivan Jablonka: Laëtitia ou la Fin des hommes [Laetitia or the End of Men]

The latest addition to my website is Ivan Jablonka‘s Laëtitia ou la Fin des hommes [Laetitia or the End of Men]. This is not really a novel but it has been sold as a novel in France and won prizes for novels so here it is. It recounts the true story of Laëtitia Perrais, who was brutally murdered and talks in great detail about the long investigation into her death but also of her early life and that of her twin sister, Jessica. The parents of the two girls were respectively a drunk and violent (him) and depressive (her). Eventually the girls were fostered but, after Laëtitia’s death, it was find out that the foster-father was sexually abusing Jessica, several other girls in his care and, possibly, Laëtitia. Jablonka covers all of this in some detail, talking about the psychology, the administrative aspects, the sociology and the politics (President Sarkozy intervenes). It is a superb book, focussing on violence towards women and children who are brought up in difficult conditions, and well worthy of the prizes it has won. It will surely appear in English soon.

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