You Become an Adult the Day You Forgive Your Parents

Tu deviens adulte le jour où tu pardonnes à tes parents

Gérard Salem

250 pages May 2018 manuscript in French Original publisher: Flammarion / VersilioCommercial Fiction

Every family has its secrets…

In this highly original, captivating epistolary novel, Gérard Salem explores with humor and empathy the story of a family whose lives feel oddly familiar.

Seven years ago, Boris broke all contact with his family. Now, newly separated from his wife and children, Boris has hit a low point. According to his psychiatrist, reconnecting with loved ones will help him move forward. It has to be by post and in handwritten letters, never by e-mail or text.

What follows is a stunning exchange of letters, with each family member sharing their anger, their sorrow, their secrets—and their unexpressed love. Confronting each other as if for the first time, parents, children, siblings, and cousins redefine their relationships, and in so doing discover something new about themselves.

An absorbing, moving, and often humorous read that brilliantly captures the complex nature of the often nebulous yet powerful ties we call family.

“My dear parents,
I can imagine your surprise in receiving this letter. Yes, it’s me, your prodigal son, the one you haven’t heard from in seven years. But rest assured, I don’t come waving a white flag. I hope, to the contrary, that this letter will ruin your day.
If you’re surprised, believe me, I am too. I still can’t believe I’m writing to you. After turning forty this year, I thought I was freed from you. I thought I had erased you.
arently not…”