I happen to have a little sister whom I love very much, who is my best friend, and this relationship has always fascinated me. The relationship between brothers and sisters is something so special, that we do not choose and which can make us unhappy as it can make us happy, but which positions us for life. I have always been the big sister, even today. And I always grew up with this fear of losing my sister because when I was in college, there was a friend who read me the lines of the hand and showed me the line of life, the line heart, all that. When I got home – my sister was little, she must have been 7 or 8 years old – I said to her: let’s see, I’ll read you the palms. His lifeline was super short, it terrified me! I grew up telling myself that my sister is going to die very young, that I will lose her even though she is so important in my life.
Yes and no. There are a few of us, many memories that belong to us and others that do not belong to us at all. I don’t necessarily look like Emma, who is rather psycho-rigid and serious; I no longer have the freedom and humor of Agathe. There are temperaments that look like us, so there are us, but it’s a fiction. That’s how I work: my novels are fictions in which I slip from reality.
I think it binds irremediably. When we share the same childhood and, what is more, the same parents, the same family, there is necessarily a link. But I know many brothers and sisters around me who no longer speak to each other and who, certainly, are too different to speak to each other again and get along one day. So I’m not sure it can make us overcome all the differences and misunderstandings. What I am sure of, on the other hand, is that when you have a nostalgic temperament, when you are very anchored in childhood, as is my case, there is always this link, these memories which can erase the rest. It happened to us, with my sister, to have disagreements, to distance ourselves at certain times, to no longer understand each other, to no longer speak to each other; and it will happen to us again, no doubt. Our father’s illness has brought us much closer. So I think it creates a common base, a link, and that’s what I wanted to explore in my novel. This link will always exist, whether we like it or not. But we are not obliged to support our family under the pretext that it is our family, to live with our brothers and sisters if we do not get along with them and if we are irreconcilable. In any case, this is not a lesson that I wanted to give or a moral. I wanted to tell this story, but it is in no way an example to follow or a universal path.
I have a very anxious, very dark part, and it would be very useful to be able to learn from each ordeal that we go through. But it’s true that, sometimes, when we live through hardships, we realize that in fact, we are very lucky and that the good life, we can have it every day, that we are not have to have better. I realized this about ten years ago. I always said to myself, “When I get thinner, when I get richer…” Happiness is always postponed, eventually. I don’t know what it is exactly, happiness or a good life, but I still believe that in every day, we can find little moments of happiness. And that is something that I really try to cultivate. What scares me the most, actually, is coming to the end of my life, turning around and saying to myself: It wasn’t so bad, but I didn’t realize it. .