Published August 29th, 2013

Moment d’un couple (Couple Mechanics)

He’s a journalist, helps out around the house, and is deeply invested in his role as a father. The years before she married him were filled with chaos, but now she’s an engineer at a large information technology company. Being a modern woman doesn’t keep her from holding onto romantic illusions, though, and when Olivier tells his wife that he’s recently started having an affair, Juliette’s entire universe is turned upside down.

“She couldn’t accept that this was happening to her now. To her. Adultery. The very word conjured bourgeois dramas or fusty vaudeville acts.”

The novel explores the risks of life as a couple, the ebb and flow of desire, the contradictions of a certain feminism, and the brutality hidden within each one of us.

What is a couple? Will Juliette and Olivier’s survive betrayal? Uncompromising but not without humor, the author’s quick style brings us back and forth between Juliette’s point of view and Olivier’s, sweeping us up into a vertiginous rise and fall of situations and emotions that keeps readers holding their breath until the last page.


“An actress and screenplay writer, Nelly Alard made a strong impression with her first novel, Le crieur de nuit (Gallimard 2010, also in Folio). Now she has returned with a book more ambitious and accomplished still, Moment d’un couple, (...) With rare precision and masterful technique, Moment d’un couple is one of the high points of the French literary season.” (Alexandre Fillon, Livres Hebdo) Read the article
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