Camille is doing her best to disappear. She barely eats, works at night as a cleaner and lives in a tiny attic room. Downstairs in a beautiful, ornate apartment, lives Philibert Marquet de la Durbelliere, a shy, erudite, upper-class man with an unlikely flatmate in the shape of the foul-mouthed but talented chef, Franck. One freezing evening Philibert overcomes his excruciating reitcence to rescue Camille, unconscious, from her garret and bring her into his home.
As she recovers Camille learns more about Philibert; about Franck and his guilt for his beloved but fragile grandmother Paulette, who is all he has left in the world; and about herself. And slowly, this curious quartet of misfits all discover the importance of food, friendship and love.
Born in 1970, Anna Gavalda was a teacher whose collection of stories, I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere, shot her to fame (published in Vintage together with her novella, Someone I Loved). Her novel Hunting and Gathering (Ensemble c'est tout) was a bestseller in several countries, selling over two million copies, and was made into a film. She is also the author of the novel Consolation. Her books have been translated into thirty-six languages. The mother of two children, she lives and writes just outside Paris.