February 29th is a date that comes into existence just once every four years. It is also the birthday of Thaïs—author Anne-Dauphine Julliand’s darling daughter—who died of a genetic disease. Thaïs lived just shy of her fourth birthday. She had a short life but good one.
As this special day is about to reappear on her calendar for the first time since her daughter passed away, Anne-Dauphine struggles with how to mark this momentous occasion. She wants to live fully on this special day: Thais would have been eight years old. Vivid memories of life with her daughter begin to blend with the present—every gesture, every word evokes a buried memory, arouses laughter or tears. Yet as the date of her daughter’s birthday approaches, she knows she must not lose sight of the family who needs her now: her sons Gaspard and Arthur, and Azylis, her other daughter who is also sick.
Anne-Dauphine’s message remains simple, true, and strong: we all need to be loved and we all need to be happy despite our ordeals. This is both lesson in happiness and a wonderful love story—A Special Day is an honest, inspirational tale that has touched the hundreds of thousands of lives. It will leave the reader breathless with its beauty.
Meet the Author
ANNE-DAUPHINE JULLIAND was born in 1973 in Paris. After studying journalism, she went on to work as a journalist. In 2006, she learned that her second child, Thaïs, was suffering from a rare disease and didn’t have much time left to live. She wrote about her experiences after the overwhelming two years in which she and her husband, supported by all those around her, took care of Thaïs. At first, she wrote it for herself, her husband, and her children. Two Small Footprints in Wet Sand became a publishing phenomenon that swept France off its feet and is now a bestseller there. A Special Day is about her search to find ways to cope with the loss of her daughter.
Adriana Hunter is the translator of works by Catherine Millet, Genevieve Jurgensen, Amelie Nothomb, Viviane Moore, and Louis Sanders.