Mathieu won France's prestigious Goncourt prize for this absorbing Nineties narrative set in a French valley community left stranded by the decline of industry . . . a multi-viewpoint panorama of thwarted aspirations, spiced with breathy sex scenes and nostalgic detail
The plot, involving drug dealing and simmering violence . . . keeps you turning the pages
And Their Children After Them . . . finds space too for beauty, for tenderness, for hope . . . you might think of a Ken Loach movie with a soundtrack by Bruce Springsteen . . . an elegiac anthem
[A] page-turner of a novel . . . I couldn't put the book down
Mathieu captures the vulnerability and awkwardness of adolescence with painful acuity . . . A gritty, expansive coming-of-age novel filled with sex and violence that manages to be tender, even wryly hopeful
Mathieu's stunning, bittersweet Prix Goncourt-winning English debut . . . will enrapture readers and appeal to fans of Édouard Louis.
A deeply felt novel, filled with characters that demand the empathy of the reader . . . There are no villains in the book, but there is a deep sense of humanity in all its flaws. It's easy to see why And Their Children After Them won so many awards in its native France. It's an exceptional portrait of youth, ennui and class divide.
Described by this paper's reviewer as "a Ken Loach movie with a soundtrack by Bruce Springsteen", this haunting Prix Goncourt-winning novel is set in a post-industrial town in Lorraine, where the long decommissioned steel mill continues to loom over the inner lives of a younger generation heading falteringly towards adulthood.
'A masterly, far-reaching exploration of a de-industrialized country which "treated its families like a minor footnote to society . . . And Their Children After Them invites comparison with the great naturalist and realist writers of the French nineteenth century.
Nicolas Mathieu's Goncourt-winning And Their Children After Them, translated by William Rodarmor, winningly wove people, place and time into a lyrical, almost-Lawrentian saga of left-behind France.
We've probably all read books and seen movies depicting Paris as the elegant and luxurious City of Light, but for a more nuanced study of the French capital, I would recommend Nicolas Mathieu's And Their Children After Them