The Guardian: Best Translated Fiction
CrimeReads: Best International Crime Novel of the Year
In this gothic tale reminiscent of Faulkner’s Light in August, a young woman’s journals divulge the horrible secrets of a wealthy family in late nineteenth-century rural France.
Before he is called to bless the body of a woman at the nearby asylum, Father Gabriel receives a strange, troubling confession: hidden under her dress he will find the notebooks that contain Rose’s harrowing story.
At fourteen years old, Rose is sold to a rich man by her father, a farmer unable to support her and her three younger sisters. Traded for a handful of coins, she becomes the property of the master and is taken away without warning to her new home. This isolated manor that seems like a castle to Rose, with the master’s formidable mother and his absent wife, immediately provokes a sense of unease. Rose soon becomes caught in their perverse web, unsure of how to escape and whom she can trust.
The English-language debut of critically acclaimed author Franck Bouysse, this exquisitely written novel is both a keen commentary on class and a chilling horror story. Deftly navigating the complexities of desire, abuse, compassion, and resilience, he has created a timeless portrait of human nature left to fester unseen.