Madame Tabard is not a woman

With her company L’Oreille à Plumes , Sonia Jacob multiplies the discoveries of new texts with readings held most of the time at The Terrace of Gutemberg , a bookstore close to the Aligre market. This time, it is at the Atelier that we find her for the reading of the second novel by Elsa Flageul Madame Tabard is not a woman who is a nod to Stolen Kisses, the film of François Truffaut.

The story confronts three points of view: that of Alma, single mother, supported by Sonia Jacob; Antoine, his lover, taken over by Jean-Pierre Darroussin; and finally, Hannah, Alma’s daughter, whom the author reads herself. The memory of Hannah opens this reading excerpts of the novel of Elsa Flageul: as a child, she had one day opened the door to a man who said to be “Fabienne Tabard”, which provoked suppositions that the imagination of the girl had, later, and one thing in a row, enriched. She remembered this event during the screening of François Truffaut’s film Baisers volés in the cinema where she had become a projectionist.

The man, to whom she had opened the door, was none other than Antoine, the lover of her mother, a funny and seductive university student, who fluttered from relationship to relationship, cultivating the fact of not having ties. But Alma, in her forties, suffers from seeing her relationship with Antoine, whom she has known for years, being based only on simple episodic encounters.

The last excerpt from this reading is emblematic of this relationship: Alma is in Antoine’s car, with one of his colleagues to whom Antoine spoke of her, which makes Alma believe that it is a question of proof of attachment. But she quickly disapers … when she hears Antoine tell him that there is no question of moving in together: it is much better for their relationship, he tells him, to live on his own. Alma then decides not to feel the pain of this moment again.

The three readers do not stay focused on the book and really address the audience. With personalities as different as complementary: between Jean-Pierre Darroussin always sober, with the full and varied voice, Elsa Flageul who manages to keep the freshness of the first reading, and Sonia Jacob, always cheerful and long live, the trio knew how to do proof, for this reading, precision and sensitivity.

Madame Tabard is not a woman, intimate novel carried by a beautiful writing, enters the characters inside. For the pleasure of connoisseurs, it is also full of film references, a domain dear to the author, which, thanks to short chapters and efficient writing, scrutinizes the meanders of human nature.


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