Light at Dusk

Peter Gadol, Author Picador USA $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-20336-8
The City of Light becomes the city of lost children in Gadol's (The Long Rain) intricate tapestry of jealousy and self-discovery. It's some time in the future, and in Paris, bombs explode in the M tro and children of immigrants are kidnapped by angry mobs. ""France for the French"" is the battle cry of the far-right French Front, which, having gained political power, is increasing its hostility to foreigners, especially those from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, while retaliations by radical immigrant factions have Paris under siege. Diplomat Will Law has walked away from his job at the U.S. Foreign Service in Mexico and drifted to the terror-ravaged city, where he reignites an affair with his erstwhile lover, Pedro Douglas, a student of French architecture. Then Will encounters Jorie Cole, another American expatriate, and Nico, a four-year-old boy who is apparently her son. After Nico is kidnapped by a roving gang of terrorists, Will learns that Jorie's story is more complex than she initially let on: Nico is the son of Jorie's Lebanese lover, Luc Chamoun, whom Jorie planned to leave, taking Nico with her. But now the boy is gone, and Will joins forces with Jorie to search Paris for him, leading to a suspenseful climax. As the title hints, this is a novel of perception and misperception, of light refracting reality. Pedro is alternately a main character and the third-person omniscient narrator who relays the quasi-imagined events of Will and Jorie's journey even when absent from the scene. The tragedy in Mexico that haunts Will is gradually revealed, and it casts its moral shadow into the present. Gadol blends ruminative philosophical passages within the framework of a crisp, action-packed story. The intricate plot remains lucid with finely wrought crystalline writing that leads the reader through a spellbinding narrative. Author tour. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2000
Release date: 05/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-312-28080-2
Paperback - 277 pages - 978-0-7145-3063-5
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