The Prophecy of Stones by Flavia Bujor
Flavia Bujor wrote The Prophecy of Stones when she was just 15 years old. The book immediately earned the status of a bestseller. According to Flavia, such an immediate success was a bit of a shock for her because she started writing for fun, just to test her literary skills.
The Prophecy of Stones tells about a teenage girl who is confined to her bed because of a serious illness. She desperately wants to get her mind off her unbearable pain, so she explores the depths of her imagination and creates a wonderland, the inhabitants of which get into big trouble. An old prophecy says that their fate is in the hands of three girls who have never met each other before. Flavia wrote the novel chapter-by-chapter: once each part of the book was finished, she gave it to one of her relatives, so they could give her feedback. One of them decided to contact a French publishing house and ask the editor to review some of the chapters from Flavia’s book. Having become acquainted with girl’s writing, Annie Carrier, the owner of the publishing house, loved the story so much that she immediately sought out Flavia and offered her a very lucrative contract. As soon as the novel was released in its French edition, more than 20 publishing houses from Europe and the United States offered to translate the book and to introduce it to their markets. The Prophecy of Stones has already been translated into twenty-three languages and has become an internationally acclaimed novel. Who knows, maybe one day Flavia Bujor will reach the heights of John Tolkien and George Martin.
Hello Sadness by Francoise Sagan
This French writer bloomed very early, as her first novel was published in 1954, when Francoise Sagan was18 years old. The novel’s release turned her into an immediate, overnight sensation. Sagan is not just a writer, she is an artist who explores the complicated world of interpersonal relationships. Her works do not depict the global problems of the contemporary world, she writes about issues that are relevant at any given point in history and time: feelings, deeply personal experiences, and inner turmoil. Francoise explains her characters’ motives with an incredible accuracy, penetrates into the depth of mentality of every character in her book, revealing the dark corners of their souls. Even though Hello Sadness was her first novel, it was written with a trademark Sagan style which is recognizable in the very first pages. It is a relatively short literary work that consists of only twelve chapters, but it is saturated with emotions and intrigue. Hello Sadness tells about the emotional experiences of a young girl who just wants to enjoy all the pleasures of life. Having lost her mother at a very young age, she has spent her childhood and teenage years at a boarding school attached to a monastery. After graduating from the school, Cecile returns to her father, a committed hedonist and a big lover of women. The young girl happily undertakes a Bohemian lifestyle, without rules or responsibilities. The girl wittily uses the weaknesses of her father, as well as the stupidity and over-confidence of his lover, Elsa. But everything suddenly changes when Cecil meets her mother’s friend, Anna, who is an intelligent and beautiful woman with high moral standards. Hello Sadness also touches upon the issue of the betrayal committed by a man who could not appreciate the loyalty and sacrifice of a true love.
“He refused categorically all ideas of fidelity or serious commitments. He explained that they were arbitrary and sterile. From anyone else, such views would have shocked me, but I knew that in his case they did not exclude tenderness and devotion – feelings which came all the more easily to him since he was determined that they should be transient.”
Hello Sadness was an immediate success: more than a million copies of the first edition were sold in France alone; the novel was translated into 22 languages, and Cecile became a role model for an entire generation of young people.
The Young Visiters by Daisy Ashford
Daisy Ashford, an illiterate girl from Surrey, wrote her first literary work at the age of nine. It was a novella under the title The Young Visiters. Notice the spelling mistake, which was deliberately left uncorrected by the publisher to designate the specific style and composition of this book. The Young Visiter is filled with spelling and grammar mistakes; almost every chapter is written as a single paragraph. Nevertheless, the book had such an enormous popularity that it was re-printed 18 times in the first year. What’s amusing is that young Daisy didn’t consider her writing as a serious work. She thought that all her literary attempts were nothing but childish experiments. For that reason, she didn’t show it to her parents. Needless to say, publishers never heard of it until 1919, when Daisy found the manuscript among old clothes and sent it to a publishing house. And thus began Daisy’s path to literary glory. As for the story of the novella, it tells about Alfred Salteena, a middle-aged man who is madly in love with a young girl named Ethel Montique. He is confused about how to conquer the heart of his beloved, so he turns to Bernard Clark, a young lord and a friend, for much-needed help. In 2003, BBC released a film adaptation of the book, which also gained a vast popularity.
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