STARRED REVIEW
December 2012

A love revealed through letters

By Hélène Grémillon
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Hélène Grémillon’s debut novel, The Confidant, begins with an air of tragedy. In 1975 Paris, Camille is mourning the death of her mother, opening condolence letter after condolence letter. She discovers an unusual letter in the pile from a man named Louis, who tells the story of his first (and perhaps only) love, Annie. The two met in pre-WWII Paris, and fell in love—until Annie abruptly cuts him out of her life.

Camille, a publisher, initially believes that this must be a manuscript from a professional writer. But the letters keep coming. Eventually Annie’s side of the story is revealed—and Camille realizes she might be receiving the letters for a reason.

Told cleverly, and in several different voices, The Confidant—which won its author France’s Prince Pierre Literary Prize—builds a rhythm of passion, tragedy and revenge, leading readers to the startling, satisfying conclusion.

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The Confidant

The Confidant

By Hélène Grémillon
Penguin
ISBN 9780143121565

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