In this powerfully atmospheric novel, Jacqueline Rose retells the story of Albertine from Proust's "A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu", from her point of view.
But this remarkable retelling stands on its own, needing no knowledge of the original.
Instead, this woman's story carries us into a lush, dream-like world, in which a drama of passion suggestive and erotic, intriguing and provocative is played out on bodies and minds alike.
The beautiful orphan, Albertine, is trapped in her lover's Paris apartment.
She longs for his wealth and status, and hopes he will make her safe.
Sickly and pampered, he is lured by her verve, the ease of her body, the pleasures he suspects are lurking in her past.
Gradually, as they circle each other, their love starts to suffocate them both.
This is a strange and captivating liaison, which starts on the wide sands of Normandy and ends in the city street, in a hidden world behind closed doors. And as Albertine struggles to escape, her only delight lies in her free, sensual women friend.
Yet even to them she remains mysterious. Can anyone answer the question - who is Albertine?