Review - Where do you go to by Jean Cerfontaine

By Carmen, 15 February 2019
My Copy of the Book

Year Published: 2018

Genre: Historical; Coming of Age


When the young Marie-Claire wakes up in Rome, she has no idea who she is or how she got there. Her tale of adversity starts in the biting cold, her past unknown and her future uncertain. Our heroine gets adopted from the Marcigliana orphanage by a French diplomat, initiating a journey of self-discovery across post-World War II Europe. In Athens, she discovers a talent for ballet, which gets elevated to greater heights when the family moves to Moscow at the height of the Cold War. Marie-Claire blooms into a social butterfly, joining the high society in Paris and mingling in social circles with the famous singers, writers, and artists who inhabit the City of Light in the early 1960s. Her marvelous travels across Europe include adventurous summer vacations in the French Riviera, weekends at the family country estate in Chantilly and winters in snowy St Moritz.

Interspersed with the coming of age tale of her young life, is her attendance of an embassy party in Paris as a young woman in 1965. Now a student at the Sorbonne, Marie-Claire meets up with figures from her past in the Soviet embassy and faces a painful reminder of an event which forever changed her life in Moscow.

The epic account of Marie-Claire’s life is an enthralling literary adaptation of Peter Sarstedt’s famous song, celebrating 50 years since he won the 1969 Ivor Novello award for “Where do you go to (my lovely)?” The mystery of her origins is finally uncovered, revealing the tragic time prior to that cold night in Rome, bringing an unexpected end to her persistent nightmares and morning tears.

About the Author:

Jean Cerfontaine is a consultant with research interests. He has published various non-fiction pieces on healthcare policy under a pseudonym in the South African press, including the Business Day newspaper. "Where do you go to" is his debut fiction work. He is married and has three dogs.

Connect with the Author:

Twitter: Jean Cerfontaine Twitter

Facebook: Jean Cerfontaine Facebook

Author Website: Jean Cerfontaine Author Website

Buy the Book:

Amazon: Amazon Purchase Link

My Take on the Book:

Even though Marie-Claire La Blanc is one of the main characters in the novel; she seems to have a mysterious air about her. I’m glad that the book had the ending it did, though I was wanting to read more about her and her interactions with her new-found family member. Those that enjoy light historical fiction should try this book. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Last Word:

I’m most certainly glad that I read this book, and it’s wonderful that I got to read a book from a South African author again. It seems as if this book is most likely going to be a series, and if that’s the case, I most certainly can’t wait for the next one in the series.