But of course. Oh, l'amour. Fifteen year-old peasant Sébastien Faure, "a skinny boy with hair like frozen hay," is a loner, a dreamer, perpetually bored tending his goats. Until three strapping young noblemen ride into his life, one falls, and Sébastien saves Balthazar de Créon. In return, Balthazar saves Sébastien by bringing him to his estate. And by awakening his passions. But in homophobic 1749, as ever, what saves us, dooms us, n'est-ce pas?
Daniel Arsand's new novel Lovers [Kindle], out this summer from the always interesting Europa Editions, unfolds in one hundred micro chapters, often only a couple paragraphs long. It's effective to convey the elusive nature of overwhelming emotions. The staccato style may also free Arsand from having to paint too much period detail. But he thrives on the past. His Prix Femina-winning debut The Land of Darkness describes a Venetian merchant's caravan trip from Armenia to Peking in 1298.
Jhumpa Lahiri said, "I dream of writing a book like Lovers some day. It is so spare but so rich. It is history made intimate, and a masterpiece of compression."
Justin Torres also loved it, calling the novel “brilliant... I fell in love with it by page two and knew I would see it through to the end that same day.”