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.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 368 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 02/04/1998
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780749396992
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Review by NeilDalley
A disturbing and slightly unreal book that follows the tragic events of love and loss experienced by a 13-year old boy. The description of Paris re-creates the scene beautifully and the emotional intensity is powerful. The ending troubles me, as if Tremain had to invent some plot device to drive on the story. As a reader you feel involved in the drama of it all but afterwards it seems so unrelated to the rest of the book. The thing that remains is the emotional complexity of being 13.