Waiting for Tomorrow

Graywolf. Apr. 2018. 176p. tr. from French by Geoffrey Strachan. ISBN 9781555978037. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781555979935. LITERARY
Mauritian-born, French-based Appanah follows up her quietly moving debut, The Last Brother, with a deftly handled study of how life can go horribly wrong. Adam and Anita meet at a New Year's Eve party near Paris and immediately recognize each other as outsiders; he's an aspiring architect from the provinces who'd rather be painting while she's an immigrant from Mauritius who aspires to write. They marry and return optimistically to his home on the Atlantic Coast but eventually succumb to life's daily grind, with Anita also frustrated by her continuing outsider status as a woman of color as she pursues a journalist's career rather than her own work. Hiring Adèle to tend their daughter revitalizes their dreams and their marriage, but their complicated interactions with Adèle, an undocumented Mauritian with a heartbreaking past, lead to tragedy for all involved.
VERDICT A smart and affecting study for most readers.

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