Review by Sian Norris
Ladivine begins with the story of Clarisse Rivière, a mother happy with her structured life. Having started out as a waitress in a pizzeria, she has worked her way up to become its manager. She’s proud of her house, in love with her husband Richard, and an indulgent mother to her daughter. But Clarisse has a secret: she’s not Clarisse at all. She’s Malinka, and once a month she travels to Bordeaux to visit her mother, one of two Ladivines of the novel’s title. And here we discover the crisis that defines Clarisse’s life and which runs throughout NDiaye’s work: identity . . .