THE SLOW WALTZ OF TURTLES

Katherine Pancol & William Rodarmor (Translator)

In this mega-bestseller from France and the follow-up to The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles, a woman contends with divorce, family trouble, and even murder in her journey to discover who she really is.

Fortysomething mother of two Joséphine Cortès is at a crossroads. She has just moved to a posh new apartment in Paris after the success of the historical novel she ghostwrote for her sister, Iris. Still struggling with her divorce—the result of her husband running off to Kenya to start a crocodile farm with his mistress—she is now entangled too in a messy lie orchestrated by her sister.

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In this mega-bestseller from France and the follow-up to The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles, a woman contends with divorce, family trouble, and even murder in her journey to discover who she really is.

Fortysomething mother of two Joséphine Cortès is at a crossroads. She has just moved to a posh new apartment in Paris after the success of the historical novel she ghostwrote for her sister, Iris. Still struggling with her divorce—the result of her husband running off to Kenya to start a crocodile farm with his mistress—she is now entangled too in a messy lie orchestrated by her sister. And just when things seem they can’t get any more complicated, people start turning up dead in her neighborhood.

As Joséphine struggles to find her voice and her confidence amidst a messy web of relationships and a string of murders, she and those around her must learn to push on with determination, like headstrong little turtles learning to dance slowly in a world that’s too violent and moving too fast.

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  • Penguin Books
  • Paperback
  • November 2016
  • 432 Pages
  • 9780143128175

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About Katherine Pancol & William Rodarmor (Translator)

Katherine Pancol

Katherine Pancol taught French and Latin before becoming a journalist. She wrote for Paris Match and Cosmopolitan while writing her first novel in 1979. She then moved to New York City to study writing and screenwriting at Columbia University before returning to France. Her book The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles became a million-copy bestseller in France and was adapted into a film starring Julie Depardieu and Emmanuelle Béart. She currently lives in Paris.

Praise

Pancol’s runaway French bestseller is a satisfying Cinderella story. . . . delicious.” —Publishers Weekly

Riveting . . . Delicious morsels involving every family member compel attention in a title that will appeal to fans of Marian Keyes and Olivia Goldsmith.” —Booklist 

This multilayered well-paced tale will delight you with its entertaining cast of characters and madcap adventures from Paris to the wilds of Africa.” —Katharine Davis, author of Capturing Paris

Discussion Questions

1. Why does Joséphine wait so long to report her attack to the police? What might you have done in her situation?

2. Is the man Joséphine sees on the Metro really Antoine? If so, why is he pretending to be dead?

3. Is Zoé’s reaction to seeing Joséphine and Philippe kiss unfair? Is being a good mother more important than being happy?

4. Were you surprised to learn that Luca and Vittorio were one and the same person? Would he have eventually confessed his deception to Joséphine?

5. What is your take on Philippe’s relationship with Dottie Doolittle? Is either taking advantage of the other?

6. Do you believe in witchcraft? Is Josiane the victim of a curse or of postpartum depression?

7. What does Hortense’s encounter with Carlos and Agathe’s other mafia pals tell you about her? Will she eventually win Gary’s love?

8. Do you feel some compassion for the two Hervés? Do their unhappy childhoods at all excuse their adult behavior?

9. Despite knowing that their daughter was trapped in an abusive marriage, the Mangeain-Dupuys refused to help her because she ignored their initial warnings about Hervé. Do you agree with their decision?

10. Is Hortense being callous or honest when she says, “As deaths go, it suits [Iris] fine. Besides, I don’t think she could’ve handled getting old. It would’ve been terrible for her!” (p. 400).

11. Would Joséphine have been able to endure everything that happens to her without Shirley’s support? Can a friend’s love adequately replace that of an absent or abusive mother?

12. Did you read The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles? If so, how would you compare the two novels? Did you anticipate any of the events of The Slow Waltz of Turtles?