Taking inspiration from Gauguin's travel journal, Noa Noa, this dreamlike and unsettling novel puts a modern spin on an old story - a vulnerable young woman places her trust in a more worldly, controlling man. Frances's passive acceptance may test some readers, but this is an affecting book, full of powerful imagery and worth staying with all the way. One for the top of the TBR list!
I thought we'd be back in Lazeaux by now, tending to the garden, making jam at the long table, exploring the hills and woodland where, Patrice had told me, bears still roamed. Maybe he and I would visit another church, or Marcel would take his daughters to Tagire and I'd tag along. We could picnic at the top and on the way back down have a water fight in the streams that twist down from the peaks.
I shake the images from my head, realising how little they contain of Paul. I knew he would be there in Lazeaux, of course, but I thought it would be different. Different to these days spent drifting between his friends. The days and faces blur into one inchoate mass, like an unformed planet on which Paul is the only horizon, the limit of everything.