A French teacher on the verge of retirement is invited to a glittering opening that showcases the artwork of his former student, who has since become a celebrated painter. This unexpected encounter leads to the older man posing for his portrait, possibly in the nude. Such personal exposure at close range entails a strange and troubling pact between artist and sitter that prompts both to reevaluate their lives.
Blondel, the author of the hugely popular novel The 6:41 to Paris, evokes an intimacy of dangerous intensity in a tale marked by profound nostalgia and a reckoning with the past that allows its two characters to move ahead into the future.
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- A. Percival
Read it for a book club
I found many of the passages were lovely, clever poetic turns of phrase. But fundamentally I didn’t like either of the main characters, and was underwhelmed by the narrative.