Red Stag: A Novel / Edition 1

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Overview

Red Stag is a tantalizing coming of age love story set against the backdrop of a lush estate in Normandy, France. Nineteen-year-old Vincent, the son of the Countess's maid (and whose childhood was one of ambiguous privilege) has just returned from his last year at boarding school to spend the summer on the Count's estate, where his uncle is gamekeeper and where Vincent himself was raised. Shortly after his return, his uncle is discovered brutally murdered and Vincent vows revenge. Meanwhile, the village is in a state of agitation, anticipating the opening day of the ritualized hunt, with hounds and horses, for the royal red stag. In the midst of it all, Nicole, the count's daughter, returns to the estate from America. As the search for the murderer's identity intensifies and the stag hunt approaches, Nicole and Vincent find themselves inexorably drawn together. The secrets revealed leave no one innocent, exposing the potential of extremes—from devout loyalty to bitter cruelty—within the human heart. Atmospheric and exotic, Red Stag is textured by the wildlife and the rivers and woods of Normandy. It is beautifully written, near-cinematic in its clarity, suspenseful, and utterly unforgettable.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[This is] a debut with the feel of a nineteenth century novel. De la Valdène's description of the Norman forests and wildlife are rich and graceful, and he expertly captures the shades of difference between the privileged life of the aristocracy, town life and Vincent's sheltered existence."--Publishers Weekly"Guy de la Valdène's Red Stag is beautifully written; it is both a fine sporting novel and literature."--Jim Harrison"Red Stag is a gripping, deeply felt story embedded in a cherished and closely observed world still ruled by the laws of nature."--Tom McGuane"A highly appealing first novel. The novel's pleasures derive largely from de la Valdène's ability to bring an idyllic rural community convincingly to life. De la Valdène has also peopled the novel with a variety of vividly drawn characters. Part love story, part coming-of-age adventure, and part pastoral, this offers many old-fashioned pleasures--including a certain rustic, romantic charm. Highly recommended."--Library Journal "This is an absolutely beautiful book, whose intelligence and wit are testaments to the grandest storytelling. Reading Red Stag is like walking outside on the most glorious October afternoon of your life--you are moved by grandeur. The writing in this book lights up like a cathedral in your head. Guy de la Valdène is a masterful writer."--Doug Stanton, author of In Harm's Way "Red Stag is one of the best novels I have read in years: a story set in the beautifully evoked deep countryside of Normandy, a landscape that surrounds the characters the way a river does a trout."--Field & Stream "Red Stag is a lovely novel that offers an intimate glimpse into a rarified, forgotten world. A story of friendship and family, loyalty and betrayal, revenge and forbidden love, it is beautifully written, full of heartbreak and longing, and the final brutal solace of the natural world." —Jim Fergus, author of One Thousand White Women
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592286270
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/15/2011
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 1,022,434
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Guy de la Valene was born and raised in France. His earlier books include For a Handfulof Feathers, and Making Game: An Essay on Woodcock. He is the also the author of the forthcoming The Fragrance of Grass. His articles have appeared in Sports Afield, Field & Stream, among other publications. He lives on an 800-acre farm. Red Stag is his first novel.
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from pg. 109:
He looked at her and remembered that once she had been recognized as the fastest chicken-plucker in the valley. As a boy he had watched her hang fowl, four at a time, by their feet from a rafter in the stable and, one by one, cut out their tongues with a pair of scissors, bleeding them into a trough, the blood to be mixed later with gruel for the pigs. With fingers flying as fast as knitting needles, Mèmè had started at the legs and worked downward, turning the room into a whirlwind of feathers.
She used the same method to bleed and pluck ducks and geese. But rabbits were handled differently. Before skinning them she bled them by carving one eye from its socket with a sharpened spoon, saving the blood to thicken her soups and sauces.
Mèmè picked up an eclair off the plate, her fingers almost as wide as the pastry, and pushed it, end first, into her mouth. The expression of pleasure on her face momentarily softened the lines of pain etched there by time, the loss of a daugther, and now the loss of her only son. She looked at Vincent and smiled, her mouth a toothless hole. As she sat staring absentmindedly out the window she asked Vincent to help her dress Serge for church. She wanted her boy to look his best. The tears that fell from her eyes ran down a dozen wrinkled paths to the corners of her mouth and slipped over her chin.
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First Chapter

Red Stag

A Novel
By Guy de la Valdene

Lyons Press

Copyright © 2011 Guy de la Valdene
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781592286270

Excerpt from pg. 109:
He looked at her and remembered that once she had been recognized as the fastest chicken-plucker in the valley. As a boy he had watched her hang fowl, four at a time, by their feet from a rafter in the stable and, one by one, cut out their tongues with a pair of scissors, bleeding them into a trough, the blood to be mixed later with gruel for the pigs. With fingers flying as fast as knitting needles, Mèmè had started at the legs and worked downward, turning the room into a whirlwind of feathers.
She used the same method to bleed and pluck ducks and geese. But rabbits were handled differently. Before skinning them she bled them by carving one eye from its socket with a sharpened spoon, saving the blood to thicken her soups and sauces.
Mèmè picked up an eclair off the plate, her fingers almost as wide as the pastry, and pushed it, end first, into her mouth. The expression of pleasure on her face momentarily softened the lines of pain etched there by time, the loss of a daugther, and now the loss of her only son. She looked at Vincent and smiled, her mouth a toothless hole. As she sat staring absentmindedly out the window she asked Vincent to help her dress Serge for church. She wanted her boy to look his best. The tears that fell from her eyes ran down a dozen wrinkled paths to the corners of her mouth and slipped over her chin.


Continues...

Excerpted from Red Stag by Guy de la Valdene Copyright © 2011 by Guy de la Valdene. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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