Gina is being sent away to boarding school. Her adored father has announced it without any explanation. “Don’t say goodbye to anyone, not friends or acquaintances. You must tell no one that you are leaving Budapest. Promise me!” She must forget her old life and join, in a faraway province, Matula, a very strict Calvinist school, renowned for its quality education.
A spoilt child, who stubbornly resists rules and rituals, she is soon set apart. The only way she can survive is to make an escape… which ends in pitiful failure.
In despair, the teenager turns to Abigaël, the statue at the bottom of the garden, and confides her sorrows in her. According to an old Matulian tradition, Abigaël helps all those who ask. And, miraculously, the guardian angel comes to them! A series of fantastical adventures lifts Gina from purgatory and helps her understand both her father’s painful decision and the meaning of the words “honour”, “solidarity” and “friendship”.
Abigaël, a rite-of-passage novel, is to be published on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Madga Szabó, the great woman of Hungarian literature. Since 2003, when The Door was unanimously awarded the Prix Femina Etranger, Viviane Hamy strives to ensure that the works of this exceptional writer and woman, who was among the first to resist the communist regime, are read and re-read.
When asked “Which two adjectives describe you?”, she answered unhesitatingly “ brave and fair”.