Book review: Chergui’s Child – I love France #176

Play French Bingo!

Chergui’s Child


Chergui's Child

Author: Jane Riddell
Publisher: self
Release date: June 3, 2015
Pages: 278
ISBN: 978-0993171413
also available as ebook
Genre: psychological literary fiction


Buy the book: |



rating system rating system rating systemrating system

The synopsis of Chergui’s Child grabbed me – always judge a book by its synopsis! That must be one of the most difficult genres to write, it is so important, so much of my expectation as a reader relies on it!
I’m glad I read the novel and I am delighted to present to you another successful example of self-publishing.

Olivia has had a tough life so far, and her mother Nora certainly did not help. Instead, she’s been supported and cherished by her aunt Dorothy.
However, the book opens with Dorothy’s death. Surprisingly, the lawyer tells Olivia Dorothy changed her will at the last minute and left her all her money, a substantive amount, along with a mysterious and shocking letter that is going to totally change Olivia’s life. To follow the lead revealed in her aunt’s final message, Olivia has the intuition she has to go to the south of France. I won’t tell you more. Just that past actions can sometimes have unexpected consequences years later.

The book alternates between the present time of the narrator, and 6 years earlier, as well as 10 years earlier.
At the beginning, it was not clear to me if “10 years earlier” meant earlier than the present moment of the narrator, or 10 year earlier than the “6 years earlier” period! When it became clear, that got easier.
There is also a good balance between first and third person narration.

I liked very much the characters of the novel. They are well defined and feel real: Olivia with her past issues and the present consequences on her health; her problematic boyfriend James; her twin brother Martin; her mother, her aunt, and her uncle, now mostly confused in a senior facility.

The description of the landscapes are stunning and luscious, especially in the south of France: Perpignan, Nice, Menton, and Villefranche.

I loved the mix of mystery and psychological and family issues. The suspense is well built, with powerful twists and turns, all quite plausible. I had never heard of the chergui (or sharqi before, so the title also remained intriguing for a while). If you read the book, don’t try to know ahead, let the book reveal it to you!

I noticed several mistakes in expressions and words in French, but alas, this happens for the best of best books, even released by major publishing houses.


Pas toujours besoin d’une grande maison d’édition pour trouver des pépites. J’ai beaucoup aimé ce roman psychologique, avec des personnages bien définis, un bon suspense et d’agréables descriptions du sud de le France.

VERDICT: Great story, with nice suspense and well-defined characters, set partly in the south of France. A beautiful example of a successful self-published novel.


Olivia is recovering from a traumatic event five years earlier when she is summoned to the bedside of her dying aunt, Dorothy.  Shortly afterwards, she learns that her aunt has left her a large sum of money.  She also receives a letter with a startling revelation.  From Morocco to London to the south of France, this is the story of one woman’s journey to make her life whole again.


Jane Riddell 

Jane Riddell:
I am an Edinburgh-based writer
of contemporary realistic fiction,
of short stories and of life writing.
Before writing full time,
I worked as a dietitian
and health promoter for the NHS.
Then, during a three year career break in Grenoble, France,
writing became more important to me, and that was it.

Read more about her on her website, her blog and look at her gorgeous pictures
Follow the author on Twitter

Eiffel Tower Orange

Have you read any other good book set in Morocco?

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ebook for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.

This book counted for 2015 Reading Challenges



What do you think? Share your thoughts, and I will answer you. I will also visit your own blog

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.