Hello everybody! Today, for blogmas day 15, we have another 2021 debut author, Clare Povey, who’s written a post about the gifts she’d like to give all her characters. Onto the post!
My debut middle grade book, The Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivre, is set in the Parisian winter of 1922. Christmas celebrations feature towards the end of the story and so when Amy suggested a blog about what gifts I would give each of my characters, I jumped at the chance to get festive. Especially with an unlimited gift budget! So…who’s getting what?
An oak writing desk that I found (for a steal!) at le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen – one of the best flea markets in Paris. The writing desk fits perfectly under the window in the library room.
A Kodak Brownie camera, which he would absolutely take apart and attempt to put back together again.
Although Sami might not celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense, I’d ask him if he didn’t mind me giving him a small token of appreciation during the festive period. After all, helping Bastien and Theo navigate the catacombs is worthy of a reward! I’d give him a gold chain – purchased from a jewellery shop near Place Vendôme – which he could clip his father’s Croix de Guerre onto and wear as a necklace.
A leather and gold leaf 1923 diary made by Maison Macquet, so exquisite that she won’t want to write in it. But she will, of course, because Alice is the most organised person you might ever hope to meet.
Tickets to go and see the stage play Antigone at the Theatre d’Atelier. Jean Cocteau wrote the play, Pablo Picasso designed the set and Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel made the costumes. Timothée would have absolutely lived his best life at this play and would’ve almost certainly tried to sneak backstage.
A telescope to look out of the dormitory window each night. Robin would point out the different constellations to the rest of the boys and impress them with his knowledge of the different worlds above their heads.
His very own chef hat with his initials embroidered on the front, just like the one his father used to wear when working as a chef during the Great War.
A jar of the finest lavender honey harvested in Provence, South of France. Not only is it delicious, but also the perfect remedy for sore throats from too much singing.
A new music sheet book so he can learn the jazz songs that he can hear through the dormitory window that come from the bars and music halls of the Left Bank.
A training session with Georges Carpentier, the world light-heavyweight boxing champion in 1922, and maybe some new boxing gloves.
It would have to be boring, but practical gifts for Jules. Like a glasses case, to stop him from misplacing his glasses every hour, or a pair of new socks because of Babette’s relentless sock-chewing habit.
A new whisk, made from titanium, so it definitely won’t break like her last one when she was whisking egg whites to make a massive meringue.
The brightest pair of swimming trunks that I can find so that he can take the beach holiday he’s always dreamed of with Philippe.
Olivier Odieux and Monsieur Xavier
Do villains deserve Christmas gifts? Do they even deserve any gifts at all? I’m sure Père Noël (Father Christmas in France) wouldn’t object to me giving them lumps of coal!
Thank you so much for reading!! Have you read Clare’s book? Would you ever want to spend Christmas in France? I’d love to hear in the comments!