About your Book:
A troubled young man — adopted as a teenager — flees his New Haven home days after his twenty-seventh birthday and travels to London then Amsterdam and finally to Nice where he infiltrates and manipulates the lives of Robert and Nicole, a young French couple in this tale of obsession, revenge and redemption.
The narrator is a nameless, existential protagonist on a journey of self-discovery. By the end of the story, we learn the disturbing truth behind his sudden departure and how the dangerous, erotic triangle he creates on the French Riviera mirrors the one between his stepsister Ann, himself and Jay, their mutual object of desire
Targeted Age Group: Adult
Genre: Literary Fiction
The Book Excerpt:
I step out of the water and onto the shore and gaze impassively at the stones covering the beach. Upon them lie the partly clad bodies of those who have come to Nice for a rest.
It is summer, 1989.
The air is warm and silent.
I walk barefoot upon the rocks, wandering among the motionless figures, their eyelids closed, their features devoid of expression. Now and then, though, a secret smile passes over a face, as a hidden thought emerges from within.
The knapsack weighs heavily upon my shoulders, as an old woman walks by,spilling water from a cup she carries in her trembling hands. I continue my uphill climb towards the wooden chairs overlooking the beach.
The straps dig into my shoulders. I release the knapsack, stretch my arms and sink into a chair, feeling the wood against my back and the sun’s warmth upon my body.
In front of me are several horizontal metallic rails. They prevent the passersby from falling over the Promenade des Anglais and injuring themselves on the rocks below. As I rest my legs upon a rail, crossing my ankles in the process, I peer over the highest bar and scan the terrain.
I see them for the first time, both attractive and obviously in love, their bodies nestled close to each other. He touches her gently, almost hesitantly. She smiles patiently, then, leaning over, kisses him firmly on the mouth, staking her claim. She lies back down with a satisfied look on her face.
He stands and, clearly aroused, adjusts his swim suit so that the bulge is less visible. She laughs and tugs at his ankle, drawing him nearer. He playfully pulls away from her and runs to the edge of the shore.
She props herself up onto her elbow and watches him. As the waves approach, he flees, like une jeune fille, to the safety of the beach.
When he returns she is already applying tanning oil to her slender figure. He crouches down beside her. They exchange a few intimacies and share a brief kiss.
A heavy, dark cloud passes over the eye of heaven.
He looks up with the pained expression of a frightened child. She leans over him, as if to shield him from the darkness.
If they were to turn away from the sun, they would see me.
But no matter.
I maintain my vigil throughout the afternoon, quietly observing them.