Three Days and a Life

Pierre Lemaitre, trans. from the French by Frank Wynne. Quercus, $22.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-68144-178-8
Lemaitre’s searing novel of psychological suspense rests on a terrible tragedy: in 1999, in the French village of Beauval, an angry 12-year-old, Antoine Courtin, hits a little boy, Rémi Desmedt, with a tree branch, accidentally killing him. Terrified, Antoine hides Rémi’s body and is wracked with guilt as the people of Beauval desperately hunt for the boy they believe was stolen by a stranger. Twelve years later, Antoine has settled in Paris, where he’s a successful doctor working in humanitarian aid and engaged to be married, though he’s still haunted by what he did to Rémi. On a reluctant visit back to Beauval, a sexual encounter with a childhood crush and news of local redevelopment threaten to destroy his carefully constructed life. From Antoine’s inner torment, Lemaitre (Blood Wedding) devises an unusual page-turner, driven not by the cause-and-event of incident but the push-and-pull of guilt and memory, which spins toward a final revelation that leaves the reader with stark questions about punishment, culpability, and the psychic consequences of long-held secrets. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/18/2017
Release date: 07/11/2017
Genre: Fiction
Book - 978-1-68144-175-7
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