(Reviewed by JD Jung)
Sainte Marie D’Azur, a small village of 712 inhabitants in the French Riviera was considered to be the “luckiest” town in Europe by the media. The winning ticket of the EuroMillions lottery, the largest prize offered by any lottery in the world—152 million euros— was purchased at Pierre’s Bar.
People came from all over in hopes of witnessing the lucky person cashing in their winning ticket. Business boomed from the butcher shop, to the bakery and of course, Pierre’s Bar.
The problem was that as no one appeared to cash in, the media and visitors left and business plummeted.
Now, if three months pass and no one claims their winnings, the money goes back to the Ministry of Finance, and then of course the money won’t be spent in the village.
Citizens start to accuse each other of trying to leave town with the winning ticket. Some feel entitled to some of the winnings. Sainte Marie D’Azur was now thought to be the “unluckiest” city in Europe.
As this three month deadline is approaching we learn about the quirky characters in this town, many who have lived here their entire lives. This is the fun part of the book.
Dominique, the town baker and somewhat of a gang leader, stations his lowlife friends to stop anyone from leaving town. Citizens try to get the local priest drunk to get possible information on the winner , since he is known for gossiping about confessions when inebriated, which is quite frequent. The mailman is in love with the baker’s wife. The mayor of thirty years keeps changing political parties; his son is secretly having an affair with the married pharmacist while the elderly widow has a crush on the butcher. This is just the tip if the iceberg. And to think that the young, lost family just passing through believes that this town is sleepy and deserted.
A Lucky Day is a fun, whimsical read and all the while we’re in suspense of who the winner is, speculating on whether the winner will ever show up and what will happen to the town and its inhabitants. With all the dark reality going on in the world, this story is a welcome, light diversion.