“Who sees Groix sees his joy”, says an adage from the Lorient country. According to tradition, the sentence illustrated the relief of sailors seeing the island of Morbihan from their boat. Finally, after weeks of swell and roll, land was not far away. The author Lorraine Fouchet has taken up the expression and likes to sow it at the turn of a chapter, in several of her novels. But this time to express the emotion that seizes her characters when they land on this 8 km2 pebble, which the successful novelist has since made an anchor point to deploy her stories of love, family, friendships , of solidarity.
“This year, I wanted to take a step aside by setting my story in Lapland. I told myself that I wouldn’t wear Groix, but I couldn’t help myself,” she jokes. In Never There by Chance, his 24th novel, one of the characters dreams of making his life there: “This island is simple, authentic, intense, he says. She accepts you or rejects you and I feel honored that she accepted me. »
This sentence, Lorraine Fouchet could take it up on her own. Her heart beats for Groix for more than twenty years, since the day when, while still an emergency doctor for SOS Médecins, she discovered it, bought a house there and came to spend her first winter there. Groix is 2,500 inhabitants. A figure multiplied in the summer. So sharing something other than high season with them is a sign of belonging. “I’m not at home: the island belongs to the Groisillons. Despite everything, she feels in “her rightful place” and has made places a full-fledged character in her books.
In Face à la mer immense (2021), Lorraine Fouchet has Fleur, her heroine, say that the port is “joyful, efficient, out of this world”. In Between sky and Lou (2016), she writes “that elsewhere, we breathe badly”. Everything is smaller but wider in Groix. The sky is a “starry coat that creates a protective bell”, explains the author. “We feel the hand of God there. There are no traffic jams, no red lights, no city frenzy, since everything is five minutes away. She also says that when the last boat linking the floating rock to the mainland leaves, at the end of the day, after having embarked the day visitors, it is as if a drawbridge had been lifted, leaving the inhabitants among themselves. “You have a heart that beats when you arrive in Groix. And a little bit that tears when we leave. »
When she writes her novels, Lorraine Fouchet integrates real places (the Hôtel de la marine, the main bookstore, the beach of Grands Sables, “the only convex beach in Europe”), slips in the names of those close to her (Soaz, Jo ). Some of her readers, or rather her female readers, when they visit the island and pass in front of the Saint-Tudy church, which she systematically describes, always raise their heads to observe its bell tower and the tuna that serves as a weather vane there. . “Groix is addictive”, observes one of his characters in Entre ciel et Lou.
Lorraine Fouchet confirms, the spirit often there. “I live part of the year in the Paris region, but with a car registered 56, she jokes. In the Yvelines, when I write, I describe the sea. In Groix, I see it, I feel it. The writing becomes deeper. People, stories, inspired by Groix, I have plenty of them until the end of my days. From there to consider oneself as Breton… “To be groisillon, you need four plaques in the cemetery. Precisely, she would like to be cremated off Groix. “My friends know it. She would like a mass in the village. “I can’t be in Groix as often as I would like now. But afterwards, I would like to be there all the time. »