A lushly imagined, sensual novel about memory, desire, and the power of storytelling, from a Booker Prize nominee.
Geneviève is an outsider, raised in an orphanage, now living an isolated existence as a maid to the widowed Madame Patin in a small French village. A teller and collector of stories, she is entranced by Madame Patin's oft-told folktales, which mask cunning and doom beneath beauty. As Geneviève grows into a woman, her life becomes both more sensual and more dangerous. She flees her village home, escaping to another word-spinner, a poet who captivates women -- his mother, his mistress, his niece's governess, and, soon, Geneviève. The poet is kind, but he too is a collector of stories -- and sometimes of secrets beyond words.
An exquisite, knowing, and irresistible novel, The Looking Glass introduces to an American audience "one of Britian's best novelists" (The Independent on Sunday).