cover image The Margot Affair

The Margot Affair

Sanaë Lemoine. Hogarth, $27 (327p) ISBN 978-1-984-85443-8

Lemoine’s sumptuous debut explores the enthralling life of the 17-year-old secret love child of a French politician. Margot Louve is the child of stage actress Anouk Louve and Bertrand Lapierre, the French Minister of Culture during the late ’90s. Her father, though loving and kind, only visits Margot and Anouk sporadically, but Margot idealizes him—especially in comparison to her dramatic, self-absorbed mother. Tired of subterfuge and lack of recognition, Margot leaks her parents’ affair to journalist David Perrin in a bid for public acknowledgement from her father. However, Margot’s plan backfires when Bertrand discovers what she’s up to and consequently cuts off her and Anouk. As Margot struggles with the consequences of her decision, she turns to David and his wife, Brigitte, and forms a secret life of her own; Margot confides in Brigitte, who considers ghostwriting Margot’s memoir. As Margot becomes reliant on Brigitte’s attention and validation, she also develops an obsession with David. The eclectic cast and rich Parisian backdrop deepen this dramatic exploration of family and the trials of early adulthood. Francophiles and anyone who appreciates an emotionally rewarding story will enjoy Lemoine’s lush, well-crafted tale. (June)