Out of Sorts – Aurélie Valognes

Ferdinand Brun hasn’t always been a grumpy old man. Many years ago, he was a grumpy young man. Now he’d much rather spend time with his canine companion, Daisy, than any of his nosey neighbours. But as his behaviour becomes increasingly peculiar, his daughter grows concerned and begins to consider moving him into a retirement home.

In order to maintain his freedom, Ferdinand must submit to an apartment inspection by his longtime enemy, the iron-fisted concierge, Mrs. Suarez. Unfortunately, he’s never tidied up a day in his life. His neighbours, precocious ten-year-old Juliette and vivacious ninety-two-year-old Beatrice, come to the rescue. And once he lets these two into his life, things will never be the same. After an eighty-three-year reign of grouchiness, Ferdinand may finally learn that it’s never too late to start living.

From the end of the first chapter I fell in love with Mr. Ferdinand Brun.

Yes he is a cantankerous old man and disgruntled with age but he felt soft at the edges, for someone so grumpy how could he love Daisy so much? she is his everything and the reason he gets out of bed in the mornings.

Ferdinand is my favourite character in the story and watching his journey unfold is heart warming.

I believe he has spent a life telling himself to be honest without the tact of fully understanding the repercussion of being so and his life has gently moulded this way over the years…but everyone deserves to be loved and it takes the invested time of a spunky little 10 year old girl and a 90 year old female neighbour to help Ferdinand see how life should be and how loving people is not a curse.

I loved the writing style and the emotion it holds and I am certainly in favour of the short readable chapters finding I flew through the story in a day and a half.

Throughout the story I was rooting for Ferdinand silently willing him to realise he can become a better person, he just needed the belief in both himself and his new acquaintances. The character of Juliette is such a fresh plucky being, bold as brass and far too wise beyond her years, she is the kind of child who will not take no for an answer with a very forth right manner. This pleases Ferdinand dearly and instead of being his usual disarming self he finds himself on the back foot and a little stumped for words, her ‘bossy’ nature and persistent ways bring about the beginnings of a change in Ferdinand without him actually realising he is changing. Juliette is a delightful character with a very warm heart.

Beatrice is a very caring natured neighbour who wants nothing more than to befriend Ferdinand, so much so she engineers their meetings and set them on a journey toward companionship, there are some very clever scenes with both parties in and you will smile as you read the adventure they share together in the police station.

There will be characters you like and characters you don’t. This book may not be loved by all but I certainly enjoyed the story and would recommend it on with 5 stars! Praise for Aurelie Valognes, I hope we see the return of this eventful set of characters.

 

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