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Victorineby Catherine Texier
Synopses & Reviews
In 1899, Victorine Texier abandons her small French village, her husband, and her two young children to follow her lover to Indochina. She has fallen for Antoine, her childhood sweetheart, and when his work sends him to Asia she is compelled to go with him, and to leave everything she knows behind. Their five weeks together onboard the ship to Indochina are a kind of honeymoon, a prelude to their liberation in a sultry new world of frangipani trees and monsoons. Victorine gives herself over completely to this exhilarating new life of colonial extravagance — that is, until she encounters her youngest sister, who has also been living in Hanoi and Saigon. This reunion, both joyous and tense, reminds Victorine all too painfully of her life and family in France and forces her to confront exactly what she has done. Vividly narrated through a series of flashbacks, Victorine is a richly textured and passionate story of rebellion, guilt, and unruly love.
In this lush, lyrical, and marvelously evocative novel, Catherine Texier takes a mystery from her family’s past and draws from it a portrait of a remarkable woman—her great-grandmother Victorine. A young schoolteacher in a quiet province in France, Victorine had married and had two children. But when she falls desperately in love, she makes a startling choice, leaving her family for her lover and a new life in Indochina.
On a single day in 1940, as Victorine reflects on her past, we travel back with her, from the willow-lined canals of her childhood home in Vendée to sun-drenched days and languorous nights along the Mekong River at the dawn of the twentieth century. Hers is an unforgettable story of adventure and self-discovery—of a woman’s struggle between duty and independence, tradition and freedom, longing and regret.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Catherine Texier is the author of three previous novels, Chloé lAtlantique, Love Me Tender, and Panic Blood, and a memoir, Breakup. She was the coeditor of the literary magazine Between C & D, is a regular contributor to the New York Times, and has written for Newsday, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, and Nerve.com. Texier lives in New York City.
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