“Turn everything off and life turns on”: Marc Levy back with an impossible love story

MISE À DAY

Want a novel that really feels good? Marc Levy, an author always fair who knows how to touch the hearts of his readers, offers a love story that puts balm on the heart and gives hope with his new novel. Turn everything off and life comes on offers a break from our tormented world. This foray into the life of a young but wounded man and a grieving, mature woman shows that true love is incredibly powerful.

< p>Adèle and Jeremy meet on a ship, bound for a new port and perhaps a new life. During a storm, they meet “by chance”. Once on solid ground, their paths cross again and they discover that even if many things oppose them a priori, there are very strong bonds that are woven.

Interviewed from New York , where he has been living for several years, Marc Levy confirms that he, too, wanted to get away from the doldrums and turmoil in which the planet has been plunged for several months.

“I won't pretend to say that people will need to read it, but I needed to write it. I couldn't stand the divisions, the attacks. I wanted a story that would warm my heart and it did me a lot of good to write this novel. Really. It took my head out of the ambient slump that ends up weighing on all of us.”

The novel was neither premeditated — nor planned, he adds. “I started writing at the end of August. I wanted to write and the character of Adèle imposed itself immediately. Jeremy too -. And I was so good with them! I followed them in their story.”

“It's a novel that I wrote in one go, in seven weeks. I tell you, it did me a lot of good, for me, to write it. So if it makes people feel good to read it, I'll be super happy!”

The story of Adèle, a specialist in watchmaking, and Jeremy, an organist who dreams of playing jazz, is far from trivial. It is also spiced up with several comical adventures and well thought-out little revenges.

Disregarding conventions

The meeting between Adèle and Jeremy shows that it is perhaps time, in society, to have a little more serenity and to get rid of the molds that society often dictates. Maybe it's time to give a good kick to expectations, conventions and imposed models.

“We are more and more locked up: locked up – in ages, locked up in opinions, in judgments. These characters are free in their heads, free in their hearts. They too have had their hard knocks, they have had their winter and there they have only one desire: a desire to live.

The gaze of the other

Marc Levy believes that we exist much more in the gaze of the other than we sometimes want to admit or acknowledge. “It is in the gaze of the other that we feel young or old, beautiful or ugly, intelligent or stupid. It's really in the tenderness and in the gaze of the other and I think it has no age.” 

Even if Adèle is older than Jeremy, she is a woman in the making, adds the writer. “She is becoming because, as soon as she feels loved, she is won over by it. She is not conquered by flattery. Besides, she is very modest. She is conquered because, suddenly, it is as if we were putting water back into her heart. And life starts again.”

“We lend ourselves an intelligence after doing things, which we didn't necessarily have when we did them… but I think I wanted to tell that. It feels so good to love and be loved!”

Turn everything off and life lights up, Marc Levy . Éditions Robert Laffont/Versilio, 216 pages.
In bookstores November 25.

Biographical notes

  • For more than 20 years old, Marc Levy is the most widely read French writer in the world, with more than 50 million copies sold and translations into 50 languages.
  • He lives in New York.
  • It will be present at the Salon international du livre de Québec next April.

– Read an exclusive excerpt from the novel here:

“She had heard the story of people who met at the right time and at the wrong time, of those who loved each other until the end, of those who loved without being able to say it, of those who think “at first I missed everything” and then…”

– Marc Levy, Turn everything off and life lights up, Éditions Robert Laffont/Versilio