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Mirror of our sorrows: 1940, a chaotic year

Paris, 1940.

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Mirror of our sorrows: 1940, a chaotic year

Paris, 1940. Traumatized, Louise, a young teacher, runs naked through the streets of Paris. Meanwhile, in the East of France, Raoul, regimental leader of the French army, a schemer always on the lookout for a good deal, mistreats Gabriel, his leader, who is too honest for his taste. Still in Paris, Fernand, a mobile guard responsible for monitoring the destruction of entire bags of banknotes from the Bank of France, improvises as a burglar to satisfy the dream of his sick wife, while Désiré, a genius usurper with a big heart, succeeds in making himself hire as spokesperson at the Ministry of Information. Nothing suggests any link between these four characters struggling in the troubled period of the debacle and the exodus.

Mirror of Our Sorrows closes Pierre Lemaitre's trilogy, Children of Disaster. And marks for Christian de Metter the third adaptation of the novelist after those of Goodbye there and Colors of the fire. In these first two volumes, the author already showed all his virtuosity by giving flesh to the characters and the story imagined by the writer.

In Mirror of Our Sorrows, a choral story exploring the troubled destinies of four characters against a backdrop of debacle and exodus, the designer does not depart from his talent as a portraitist and his mastery of staging. His breathtaking story relayed by a virtuoso line, keeps the reader in suspense from the first to the last page. The designer plunges us into the horrors of “the phoney war” which ends suddenly with the German offensive and the rout of the French army, pushing civilians onto the road to exodus. A period that the author evokes with its desperate battles, its shenanigans of all kinds or state lies, all coupled with a bitter picture of human nature. In panic and slump, all behavior is permitted.

Also readDe Metter: “I throw my darkness into my comics, like in a trash can”

With his expressionist style, Christian de Metter portrays a gallery of characters both fascinating and miserable, wonderfully illustrating the despair of a civilization thrown into the chaos of exodus, overcoming hunger, violence, fear. In a clever and moving production, the author draws a parallel between the laboriously waged battles and the government's shameless lies. Rich in twists and turns, the story harmoniously weaves the paths that will lead our protagonists to find themselves at the end of a path where great History and individual destinies intertwine.

Well versed in the exercise of literary adaptation, Christian de Metter has also revisited the works of the greatest writers of the noir novel. From Armitage Trail (Scarface) to Dennis Lehane (Shutter Island) to Douglas Kennedy (Marriage Trap). Violence in the streets of Chicago, the oppressive world of an island containing a psychiatric center for dangerous criminals, the hell of the Australian bush or chronicle in inter-war France...The evocative force of Christian's drawing and compositions by Metter offer a tasty and fabulous illustration of the most thrilling stories.

Mirror of our sorrows, Christian de Metter based on the novel by Pierre Lemaitre, Rue de Sèvres, 25 euros.

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