Legacy: An Anthology – Excerpt by Didier Quémener – I love France #145

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Velvet Morning Press just released

Legacy: An Anthology

a short story collection featuring award-winning and best-selling authors
such as Kristopher Jansma and Regina Calcaterra just to name two!
To celebrate the launch, they organized a month-long tour.
I’m honored to be one of the book blogs on this tour.


Long after we’ve left this world, our legacy remains. Or doesn’t. Or remains only in the minds of those who knew us, those whose lives we’ve touched. Those we’ve written to, or about.
If you had a choice, what mark would you leave? How should people remember you? Should they remember you?
Fourteen authors sat down during the month of January 2015, shut out distractions of the outside world and wrote about the subject. The resulting fiction and nonfiction stories fill the pages of “Legacy: An Anthology.” The book includes stories from Kristopher Jansma, winner of the 2014 Sherwood Anderson Award for Fiction, New York Times best-selling author Regina Calcaterra and Canadian best-selling author Marissa Stapley among others.

Buy the book on Amazon


For this tour, I was offered to post an Excerpt from French author Didier Quémener whose writing I enjoyed a lot in the anthology That’s Paris, also published by Velvet Morning Press.

Didier QuémenerDidier Quémener

Executive chef, private chef,
food and wine consultant…
Lived in the U.S., based in Paris: does not wear a beret but eats freshly baked bread every day. Cooked his first meal at age seven, graduated from the Sorbonne, worked as a photographer and finally came back to the kitchen where it all started.
Didier is French and American, therefore obnoxious, a wine snob and speaks loudly!
When Didier is not cooking, he’s writing. When he’s not writing, he’s playing golf. When he is not playing golf, he’s dreaming of being an orchestra conductor, or a guitar player, or…
Back to reality: A husband, a father and a foodie!
Didier contributed to anthologies “Mystery in Mind” and “That’s Paris,” and “Legacy” and is working on a full-length food and wine memoir. You can find him at ChefQParis and FoodMe

His Amazon book page.
Follow him on Twitter


Letters of the Night (Adeline and Augustin)

by Didier Quémener

The following is presented as a work of fiction. Only the authors of this nighttime correspondence may determine its veracity. Adeline and Augustin share a love story. A story of youth. The creation of an immutable bond between these two characters before the rules of society and adulthood could make their mark. Their reunion, at the castle of Madame de M. during the winter of 1875, is the perfect moment to reignite their passion. The letters of Adeline and Augustin are offered to you exactly as they were found, without a single modification.

Letter I

To Adeline

Dear Adeline,

Please forgive me for my audacity, sending this letter to you at such a late hour, but I have found it impossible to sleep. Your presence at the castle this evening far outshone the ostentatiousness of the ball and the company of the other guests.

I found myself riveted to the spot the moment my gaze met yours. Without a doubt, when admiring the young woman you have become, I rediscovered the child I knew from my visits to your family home. However, time seemed to mock me when in your eyes I saw the reflection of those summer games we would play in the park behind your parents’ residence, and at the same moment, the charm and elegance that accompany you today. The years that have passed, without your path crossing mine, have graced you with such beauty. If Madame de M. had not introduced us, certainly several more years would have flown by before our lives could touch once again. What a pleasure to have seen you, to have enjoyed your company! If fatigue has not overcome you, a response would culminate this joyful reunion…

Letter II

To Augustin

Dear Augustin,

All is forgiven, for I, too, was not sleeping. As I look back at my memories of you, feisty young man that you were, I suppose I could not expect any less. On the contrary, silence from you certainly would have surprised me. The pleasure to meet again was mine as well, Augustin. You have matured quite a bit after the years abroad, haven’t you? You seem to be a man of the world, intelligent, and with a confidence that draws everyone to your side, hoping to share in conversation. Bravo! And I could not help but notice the particular effect you had upon the ladies…

Letter III

To Adeline


I thank you for your words. You are right—my voyages brought me a great deal, intellectually as well as emotionally. And of course the time that passes inexorably leaves its mark, as does the ink on these letters I address to you. Did you know that I have preciously guarded the letters you sent to me during the winters you spent in Italy with your parents? When a sense of melancholy knocks at the doors of my heart, I reread them, one after the other… Do you still have mine?

Letter IIII

To Augustin

I believe your letters are still at our winter residence, but due to the occupation of Rome, my parents recently took flight for Florence. It is possible they have already arrived. The former capital has become so politically unstable that my father decided his only choice was to abandon the family home. It is sad, Augustin. I have the feeling that a part of myself will die the day I learn of its new ownership. But that is life, I suppose. Things change, and we change with them…

Letter V

To Adeline

Life is only worth living, Adeline, if we fear losing it. If the irreplaceable disappears, what is the use of going on? What good is an existence stripped of its principal meaning? The idea of losing the slightest detail fastening my life to yours makes my blood run cold. I dare not think of it! I will buy the house from your parents and contact my friend the Ambassador of France so that he will take the necessary measures to assure its security. Time is ours, so that we may make our mark, so that our memories may take root forever.

And for once, let’s share it in its original language:

Les lettres de la nuit

(Adeline et Augustin)


Les faits racontés se présentent comme pure fiction. Seuls les personnages de cette correspondance pourraient témoigner de la véracité du récit. Adeline et Augustin racontent l’amour. D’une histoire de jeunesse, alors tous deux enfants se jouant des règles qu’une vie d’adulte leur imposerait, naîtra un véritable attachement réciproque. Leur récente rencontre, au Château de Madame de M. pendant l’hiver 1875, sera le moment opportun de raviver une passion dépassant l’imagination du commun des lecteurs. Les lettres reproduites dans cette histoire vous sont livrées telles qu’elles furent retrouvées, sans avoir été éditées et sans aucune modification de leur contenu.

Lettre I

A Adeline

Chère Adeline,

Pardonnez mon arrogance alors que je vous fais parvenir cette missive à une heure si tardive de la nuit mais il m’était impossible de trouver le sommeil, tant votre présence ce soir pendant la réception donnée au Château a occulté le reste de la fête et de ses invités.

Mon esprit s’est dérobé à la minute où mon regard s’est posé sur votre visage. Certes je retrouve, en admirant la jeune-femme que vous êtes devenue, l’enfant que je connaissais lors de mes visites ponctuelles au domaine familial. Cependant le temps semble me narguer alors que je vois encore dans vos yeux nos jeux d’été d’hier, dans le parc derrière la demeure parentale, et que je devine aujourd’hui toute l’élégance et la grâce qui vous ont accompagnée au cours de cette cérémonie. Ces quelques années, sans jamais vous revoir une fois, ont laissé sur vous une empreinte si délicate, si légère… Si Madame de M. n’avait pas fait les présentations, je serais certainement resté encore de nombreuses années sans jamais vous apercevoir de nouveau. Quel plaisir d’avoir pu vous voir encore ! Si l’assoupissement et la fatigue ne vous ont pas encore gagnée, une réponse de votre part conclurait ces belles retrouvailles.

Lettre II

A Augustin

Cher Augustin,

Vous êtes tout pardonné puisque je ne dormais pas. A vrai dire, en cherchant dans mes souvenirs et me remémorant le jeune adolescent fougueux que vous étiez, je n’en attendais pas moins de vous. Un silence de votre part m’aurait certainement surprise. Le plaisir est réciproque Augustin. Ces années passées à l’étranger vous ont muri, semble-t-il ? Vous apparaissez en homme du monde instruit et votre comportement, plein d’assurance dans vos conversations avec vos compères, vous donne belle allure en société, surtout devant la gente féminine comme j’ai pu le remarquer… Félicitations !

Lettre III

A Adeline


Je vous remercie pour vos mots. Vous avez raison : ces voyages m’ont beaucoup apporté, tant intellectuellement qu’humainement. Et puis le temps qui s’écoule inexorablement marque son empreinte sur vous, comme cette encre sur les lettres que je vous adresse. Saviez-vous que j’ai précieusement gardé les quelques lettres que vous m’écriviez lors de vos hivers en Italie avec vos parents ? Quand la mélancolie vient frapper aux portes de mon cœur, je les relis, l’une après l’autre… Avez-vous encore les miennes ?

Lettre IIII

A Augustin

Je crois que vos lettres sont toujours à la résidence hivernale que nous occupions mais après la prise de Rome, mes parents se sont installés à Florence depuis peu. Il se peut qu’elles y soient déjà arrivées : l’ancienne Capitale est devenue si politiquement instable que mon père a décidé de se séparer de notre maison de famille. C’est bien triste, je vous l’avoue Augustin. J’ai le sentiment qu’une partie de moi va s’éteindre le jour où j’apprendrai la vente. Mais il en est ainsi, comme pour ce qui est de la vie. Les choses changent et nous changeons avec elles.

Lettre V

A Adeline

La vie ne vaut d’être vécue, Adeline, que si l’on craint de la perdre : si l’irremplaçable disparaît, à quoi bon continuer une existence dépourvue de son principal intérêt ? La simple idée de perdre la moindre chose qui me rattache à vous me glacerait le sang. Je n’ose y songer ! J’achèterai la maison romaine de vos parents et contacterai mon ami l’Ambassadeur de France afin qu’il prenne toutes les mesures nécessaires pour en assurer sa sécurité. Le temps nous appartient pour que nous y laissions notre trace, pour que nos souvenirs s’enracinent à jamais.



Velvet Morning Press is a boutique publishing house with the goal of discovering new authors and launching their careers. VMP publishes fiction in a variety of categories, short story anthologies and special projects involving new and established authors. Please visit Velvet Morning Press for more information and sign up to find out about new releases at http://eepurl.com/7ht1z.




7 thoughts on “Legacy: An Anthology – Excerpt by Didier Quémener – I love France #145

  1. Pingback: Legacy: An Anthology – Interview with Didier Quémener – I love France #146 | Words And Peace

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