Les brisants The Breakers

Vanessa Bamberger
All rights available

A maritime novel where emotions shift to the rhythm of the tides. A plunge into a world where ghosts are set free.
An art restorer, Marion has long sought refuge in paintings. As layer by layer she removes past varnish and retouches, this young woman manages to escape for a moment a mother to whom she remains subjugated, from whom she cannot distance herself since the tragedy that befell them. Her mother requires her daily, needs her as a sounding board for her stories about Léonard, her darling boy, lost without trace at the age of thirteen while away at summer camp. Marion has retained hardly any memories of her brother other than those rehashed by her mother. She is suddenly disturbed by the arrival in her suburban Paris studio of a master painting: in it she seems to rediscover something of Léo, the boy she’s forgotten. She also incidentally discovers she cannot trust the irrational narrative in which her mother has shrouded Léo’s memory. … Marion makes up her mind to immerse herself in a world that’s always been off-limits to her: a corner of north Finistère, the island of Batz, where the whole tragedy played out. There she meets Paul, a marine biologist specialised in brown algaes. She doesn’t yet realize that this island could be the place of her emancipation.

Vanessa Bamberger is a novelist. She has published three novels: Principe de suspension (2017, and Piccolo, 2019), Alto Braco (2019, and Piccolo, 2020) which was awarded five literary prizes, and L’Enfant parfaite (2021, and Piccolo, 2022).

  • Published on mars 30th, 2023
  • 192 pages


“In her fluid writing, the author captures with sensitivity the conflicts caused by things left unsaid.”
Le Monde

“Avoiding the pitfalls of melodrama, she composes the portrait of a borderline mother by the sea, of a girl at war with herself, and of unspoken violence passed down from generation to generation.” Elle