Marie Vareille wins the Prix des Lecteurs U, awarded in partnership with Le Livre de Poche, for her novel "Désenchantées" [Disenchanted]

The Prix des Lecteurs U was founded 2015 by Système U and Le Livre de Poche to create a reader-led initiative that promoted reading for all. Every year it recognizes a novel written in French jointly selected by Magasins U book buyers and 100 of the chain’s book-loving customers.

For this 8th edition, the shortlist included six French novels recently published in paperback by Le Livre de Poche.

The jury selected Désenchantées [Disenchanted] by Marie Vareille.

When 15-year-old Sarah Leroy disappeared from the small town of Bouville-sur-Mer, the community and all of France was shaken to its core. People traded theories about what happened to her in every home and cafe, but no one ever managed to solve the mystery. Twenty years later, Fanny returns to the scene of the tragedy that marked her childhood. And the past resurfaces… Because Sarah Leroy’s story is also her story—the story of a group of girlfriends. A story that smells like first cigarettes and chlorine from the municipal pool, full of friendship oaths and, more importantly, terrible secrets.  

With a gift for subtle suspense, Marie Vareille exposes the nuts and bolts of female friendship in this emotional and enchanting coming-of-age novel.

Born in Montbard in 1985, Marie Vareille has published nine novels which have been widely translated.

Her fourth novel, La Vie rêvée des chausettes orphelines [The Secret Lives of Odd Socks] won the Petits mots des libraires prize in 2021 and sold over 100,000 copies. Vareille has also won several YA literary prizes, including the Prix Babelio 2021 for her novel Le syndrome du spaghetti [Spaghetti Syndrome].