This coming of age novel by the acclaimed Belgian author is "a disarmingly simple yet deeply complex study of a mother-daughter relationship" (The Washington Post).One of the Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of fiction in 2018 Marie is the prettiest girl in her provincial high school, and dating the most popular boy in town. She is the envy of all her peers--and she loves it. But when she gives birth to Diane, things begin to change. Diane steals the hearts of all who meet her, inciting nothing but jealousy in her mother.
This is Diane's story. Young and brilliant, she grows up learning about life through her relationships with other women: her best friend, the sweet Élisabeth; her mentor, the selfish Olivia; her sister, the beloved Célia; and, of course, her mother. It is a story about the baser sentiments that often animate human relations: rivalry, jealousy, distrust.
Revered throughout Europe, Belgian novelist Amélie Nothomb has won numerous prizes, including the French Academy's Grand Prix. In Strike Your Heart, she offers a telling adult fable about womanhood and the mother-daughter bond.
Earn by promoting books
Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.Become an affiliate
About the Author
Amélie Nothomb was born in Japan to Belgian parents in 1967. She lives in Paris. Since her debut on the French literary scene, she has published a novel a year, every year. Her edgy fiction, unconventional thinking, and public persona have combined to transform her into a worldwide literary sensation. Her books have been translated into over twenty-five languages and been awarded numerous prizes including the French Academy's 1999 Grand Prix for the Novel, the René-Fallet, Alain-Fournier, and Jean-Giono prizes.
Alison Anderson's translations for Europa Editions include novels by Sélim Nassib, Amélie Nothomb, and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. She is the translator of The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa, 2008) and The Life of the Elves (Europa, 2016), both by Muriel Barbery.
Praise for Strike Your Heart
"'Strike Your Heart' is a finely honed, piercing novel. No wonder it is acclaimed in France. If you are human, it will strike your heart, too." --The Washington Post
"Nothomb dazzles with her shocking denouement and leaves her stunned reader with a bitter aftertaste in the mouth and a craving for more." --The Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Nothomb's writing is fablelike, so that when the threads of the story converge into a morality tale, as those who have suffered and been wronged find revenge and solace in one another."--The New York Times
"Readers who love the alienation and dark comedy of Haruki Murakami would be wise to hunt down Nothomb's work; she's treading in the same forests as Murakami, but her steps are lighter and she covers more territory than the celebrated Japanese novelist." --The Seattle Review of Books
"With Strike Your Heart, Amélie Nothomb, a renowned Belgian writer, creates a haunting fable about the things mothers do to their daughters." --Refinery29
"A dynamic, rich novel that is brisk and short, yet also covers a great deal and is, emphatically, life-full." --The Complete Review
"Elegant writing, fairy-tale qualities, psychological insight, a toothsome plot, and an intoxicating Frenchness--or perhaps in this case, Belgian-ness. . . This razor-sharp morality tale can be read in an afternoon but contains a lifetime of wisdom about how we cope with the weaknesses of those closest to us." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"This razor-sharp tale begins as a Madame Bovary of the 1970s." --FranceInfo
"A story of frustration and familial jealousy, in the best vein of Amélie Nothomb." --Marie Claire (France)
"Amélie Nothomb has written one of her best novels. Poignant, cruel, and formidably masterfully written." --Lire
"A marvelous novel in which the genius of childhood is tested." --Libération
"A new opus by Amélie Nothomb, an author as versatile as she is vital." --Page des libraires
Praise for Amélie Nothomb
"Amélie Nothomb is such an utter astonishment, the shock of reading her for the first time is like realising you have missed a whole movement, or a century, in the scheme of things." --Scotland on Sunday
"Read Amélie Nothomb! It's a bit like opening a bag full of surprises." --Le Globe-Lecteur
"Nothomb's Life Form fuses the sincere with the subversive to tell a story as winning as it is perverse." --The Seattle Times
"Nothomb's prose has a hard-edged clarity and a slyness to it." --The Los Angeles Times