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This is the summer that Lewis Little, precocious thirteen-year-old, is spending in Paris with his mother, Alice. Alice is translating the latest medieval romance by Valentina Gavrilovich, the bestselling and exotic Russian emigre, Lewis is there to make his first acquaintance with one of the greatest cities in the world; neither can foresee the momentous events that lie in wait for them. Valentina slowly casts a spell over Lewis, but when her past begins to encroach on all their lives and, as this enchanted world is gradually lost, Lewis is driven on a terrifying quest.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780749396992
ISBN-10: 0749396997
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 23mm)
Pages: 368
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 2-Apr-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » Middle-aged Russian novelist Valentina Gavrilovich writes immensely successful medieval romances, in French. Alice Little translates them into English. In the long hot summer of 1994, Alice goes from her home in Devon to Paris, to work on Valentina's latest book, taking her intelligent, precocious, 13-year-old son Lewis with her to perfect his French and experience life in one of Europe's most sophisticated cities. On the cusp of adolescence, Lewis falls erotically in love with Valentina and, when she mysteriously and suspiciously disappears, sets himself the task of tracking her down - only to find himself in very deep water indeed. By the time the story - seen entirely through Lewis's eyes - reaches its ironic end Lewis's anguished rite of passage is complete. By the author of Restoration, this is a modern teenager's pilgrimage from childhood to manhood, set against a marvellously-evoked Parisian backdrop, full of sharply-realized characters. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Part mystery, part romance, part adolescent fantasy, the latest from Tremain (Sacred Country, 1993, etc.) features a 13-year-old English boy who turns supersleuth when his first love, a much older best-selling writer, is kidnaped in Paris. Young Lewis Little's frostily beautiful mother Alice, a translator, has been summoned to Paris for the summer to live with popular romance writer Valentina Gavrilovich and work on her new book, so Lewis comes along to sharpen his French. It's not his language skills that grow, however, but his lust as he's captivated by the rounded form and exotic qualities of his Russian emigre hostess. While Alice begins an affair, leaving him to his own devices, Lewis focuses his overcharged imagination, like a heat-seeking missile, on Valentina. . . but then she disappears. Alice is content to report the matter to the police and resume her liaison, but Lewis sets out to save the woman he loves. Thinking at first that her Russian lover somehow dragged her back to Moscow, Lewis soon picks up another trail by piecing together clues from Valentina's housekeeper, her neighbor, and the files on her computer (which he reads before the police take them away). He gets close enough to her to receive a threat, and when that doesn't deter him, he's abducted himself. Held captive in the same rundown farmhouse as his love, Lewis makes the most of the chance to have her all to himself, talking nonstop with her through a hole in the wall between them while he plans their escape. Unfortunately, his fantasy-come-true in confinement fades in the harsh light of subsequent events. An adolescent world emerges here that is wonderfully complete, melding with adult preoccupations in ways both subtle and seductive. The result is riveting. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain's bestselling novels have won many awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music and Silence), the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger (Sacred Country). Restoration was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in1989 and made into a film in 1995. Her short story, 'Moth', was also filmed (as the award-winning Ricky) by Francois Ozon in 2009. Her most recent novel, Trespass, was a Richard and Judy Bookclub Choice. Rose Tremain was made a CBE in 2007. She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer, Richard Holmes.

Books By Author Rose Tremain

Sacred Country by Rose Tremain

Sacred Country

Paperback, June 2017
Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

The Gustav Sonata

Paperback, January 2017
Restoration (Vintage Past) by Rose Tremain

Restoration (Vintage Past)

Paperback / softback, October 2016
American Lover by Rose Tremain

The American Lover

Paperback, March 2016