22: Nothing Holds Back the Night by Delphine De Vigan
Nothing Holds Back the Night by Delphine De Vigan
Bloomsbury, London, August 2013.
Review published in The Townsville Eye, 9 November 2013.
‘What’s she done, what’s she done?’ Delphine De Vigan’s thoughtful exploration of her mother’s extraordinary life and death begins with this question on a Wednesday morning when she finds Lucile dead in her apartment. Lucile was a feted child model in 1950s Paris, third of nine children in a family that was at one time the subject of a television documentary showcasing the ‘perfect family’. Common sense tells us there is no such thing, and De Vigan does not don rose-coloured glasses for her mother’s story. She interviewed Lucile’s surviving brothers and sisters and listened to her grandfather’s taped history to make sense of the family, to discover how they shaped her mother’s life. De Vigan draws out stories of an overbearing patriarch, accidental deaths, acrimonious divorce, painful accusations, terminal cancer, and suicide. Lucile’s adult life was punctuated with delirium, despair and hospitalisation which had its inevitable impacts on Delphine and her sister Manon’s lives. Lucile was a singular woman; elusive, glamorous, a daughter, a sister, a mother. Nothing Holds Back the Night stands as
De Vigan’s tribute to Lucile.