The Queen of Hearts
by Valerie Donzelli
Paris. Thirty-something Adèle is devastated by her break up with Mathieu, the love of her life. Seeing her suffering, her neighbour on the landing advises her to leave her ex’s apartment in order to start over. But Adèle has no friends or family to go to, apart from a distant cousin whom she feels would never take her in. So the neighbour goes with Adèle to this relative, Rachel, leaving the latter with little option to refuse. Unwillingly, she agrees to take Adèle in, and then, moved by her evident distress, decides to help her find a job and get her taste for life back, and to offer some advice on her emotional predicament. Her main recommendation is that Adèle should sleep with other men to demythologise the previous lover. Though heart and body are unwilling, Adèle skips from one adventure to another.