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Mathieu won France's prestigious Goncourt prize for this absorbing Nineties narrative set in a French valley community left stranded by the decline of industry . . . a multi-viewpoint panorama of thwarted aspirations, spiced with breathy sex scenes and nostalgic detail
Mail on Sunday
The plot, involving drug dealing and simmering violence . . . keeps you turning the pages
Sunday Times
And Their Children After Them . . . finds space too for beauty, for tenderness, for hope . . . you might think of a Ken Loach movie with a soundtrack by Bruce Springsteen . . . an elegiac anthem
Financial Times
[A] page-turner of a novel . . . I couldn't put the book down
New York Times
Mathieu captures the vulnerability and awkwardness of adolescence with painful acuity . . . A gritty, expansive coming-of-age novel filled with sex and violence that manages to be tender, even wryly hopeful
Kirkus Reviews
Mathieu's stunning, bittersweet Prix Goncourt-winning English debut . . . will enrapture readers and appeal to fans of Édouard Louis.
Publishers Weekly
A deeply felt novel, filled with characters that demand the empathy of the reader . . . There are no villains in the book, but there is a deep sense of humanity in all its flaws. It's easy to see why And Their Children After Them won so many awards in its native France. It's an exceptional portrait of youth, ennui and class divide.
John Boyne, Irish Times
Described by this paper's reviewer as "a Ken Loach movie with a soundtrack by Bruce Springsteen", this haunting Prix Goncourt-winning novel is set in a post-industrial town in Lorraine, where the long decommissioned steel mill continues to loom over the inner lives of a younger generation heading falteringly towards adulthood.
Financial Times, Summer Reads
'A masterly, far-reaching exploration of a de-industrialized country which "treated its families like a minor footnote to society . . . And Their Children After Them invites comparison with the great naturalist and realist writers of the French nineteenth century.