Friday 29 March 2024



Here's one you can read for free if you have an account with Net Galley

It's also available over here at Amazon

This is what you're in for if you get on board for the ride:

"Blending literary suspense, travelogue, and a spirit of uneasy eroticism, HELEN BONAPARTE plumbs the heart and needs of a bored academic ... This is a full-bodied, sumptuously written, always perceptive study of yearning for something more, as Helen works through a moment of existential crisis, eager for connection ... [D'Stair] brings poetic vigor to Helen's imaginings and occasional pushing of boundaries, deftly mingling desire, tension, and the feeling that things could go very wrong ... the prose startles, dazzles, informs, and pleases." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Middle-aged, middling academic Helen Bonaparte has left her husband and children at home for a week-long Italian group tour with strangers. Happy with her home life, but needing self-renewal, she intends to sulk in the corners of buses and museums for a week, indulging in great art but scowling the rest of the world away.

Until, that is, she meets Marieke, the tour guide, who becomes the object of erotic fantasies Helen didn't even know she had.

As each day passes, Helen's home life recedes, only to be replaced with increasingly bizarre, invasive, and always secretive ways to get closer to Marieke. As she meanders around tourist gems of Renaissance Italy, Helen must come to terms with her new obsession, existing just on the border of dream and disillusionment, the imaginative and the mundane, the sacred and the profane.

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