In the Middle Ages, the simple were the little name given to medicinal plants. It is mentioned in Yannick Grannec’s latest novel. The knowledge of medicinal plants and their use are among the little secrets of the Benedictine sisters of the Abbey of Notre-Dame du Loup, in this year 1584.
And more particularly the dean, Sister Clémence, whose preparations are very much in demand, right up to the Court. This knowledge, which they trade, ensures that the sisters flow peaceful days in God’s love. And allows them to run a small hospital open to the poor.
This financial windfall also arouses jealousy on the part of the new Bishop of Vence, Jean de Solines, who would like to bring this exceptionally independent enclave under his control by royal decree.
To this end, he will try to uncover scandals – and if not, to manipulate them – to damage the abbey’s reputation. But here we are, wanting to bring evil into this chamber which seems immune to it, the bishop will very quickly realize that the Evil One can seize everyone, even the most pious of women.
And it is the implementation of each of the seven deadly sins that Yannick Grannec reveals to us in a grandiose novel that deals with both a tormented era of history and the human soul. And which takes place in the region, even if the abbey overlooking the Rivière du Loup has never really existed.
This is Yannick Grannec’s third book – after La Déesse des petites victoires in 2012 and Bal mécanique in 2016-, who lives in Saint-Paul-de-Vence and is also a graphic designer and passionate about mathematics.
To discuss her latest novel, she invites you to meet her on Sunday 17 November at the Fête du livre du Var in Toulon. And on 27 November at the Masséna bookshop in Nice.
Yannick Grannec at the Fête du livre du Var, in Toulon.
Sunday, November 17 all day long. From 11:30 to 12:30, in the round table “Mysteries and violence of ancient times” (with Sophie Endélys and Clément Milian, moderated by Elise Lépine).
A meeting with Yannick Grannec and Joël Baqué, author of L’arbre d’obéissance (published by P.O.L.). Wednesday, November 27th, at 7pm. Librairie Masséna (55, rue Gioffredo), in Nice.
The Simples. Yannick Grannec. Anne Carrière Publishing. 368 pages. 22€.