We Are Eternal: A Novel

Overview

Pierrette Fleutiaux's prize-winning novel is an unforgettable record of human love, a mesmerizing tale of illicit passion and of a pair of doomed lovers tried by fate and destroyed by a web of lies intended to protect them. At the heart of the Helleur family is a dark secret, borne by each adult but scrupulously concealed from the children, Dan and Estelle: no one speaks of the mystery surrounding Nicole, the childlike, ethereal mother, a beautiful dancer tormented by bouts of madness; of Mr. Helleur's quiet ...
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1994 Hardcover First English Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 0316286176. Book and DJ are New, First English Edition, first printing, Translated from French by ... Jeremy Leggatt, Collectible or gift quality, B-125, ; 9.50 X 6.40 X 1.90 inches; 565 pages. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Pierrette Fleutiaux's prize-winning novel is an unforgettable record of human love, a mesmerizing tale of illicit passion and of a pair of doomed lovers tried by fate and destroyed by a web of lies intended to protect them. At the heart of the Helleur family is a dark secret, borne by each adult but scrupulously concealed from the children, Dan and Estelle: no one speaks of the mystery surrounding Nicole, the childlike, ethereal mother, a beautiful dancer tormented by bouts of madness; of Mr. Helleur's quiet sadness and potent fear that the precarious, deceptive foundation upon which his family rests will one day be shattered; or of Tiresia, the strange, golden-fingered pianist who never speaks and hides her face behind a veil of black but is the soul of the household, the protector of its hidden truth, and the only hope for Dan and Estelle. Narrated by Estelle - now separated forever from her true love and forever bound to him by their shared, tragic destiny - We Are Eternal traces the Helleur family secret back to its source. For Estelle is finally in possession of the knowledge from which she has been so studiously shielded, knowledge that would have saved her, and, torn by loss and desire, she now undertakes this final act of storytelling with an anguished awareness of how the ultimate catastrophe that befell them all might so easily have been averted, if only ... Haunting and intensely lyrical, possessed of all the eerie, captivating power of the best modern gothics, Pierrette Fleutiaux's novel is an irresistible account of an amour fou, a once-in-a-lifetime passion that transcends time and taboo, a love raised to the level of myth.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This dense gothic novel, a bestseller in France and winner of the Femina prize, requires patience as its narrator, Estelle Helleur, takes a winding journey through her tortured life, most of which has been centered around her brother, Dan, and their love affair. Laden with existential observations, the narrative begins with the siblings' early codependence and incipient romance; Fleutiaux casts the children's incest as a natural response to an upbringing filled with terror and desolation. The haunted Helleurs, however, often suggest a French Addams family-the mother is a birdlike dancer suffering from nightmares; the father, a romantic attorney, is a depressed eccentric; Tiresia, the siblings' silent caretaker and a former concert pianist, holds the key to the children's dysfunctionality. Fragmented by pieces of past and present and including letters to the director of Estelle's convent, the story line zigzags from the French countryside to New York, Paris and the convent. The translation reads unevenly, but the most affecting passages, usually the simplest, have a lyrical beauty that will reward the dogged reader. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Familial intrigue, grief, and longing mark this richly translated modern Gothic set in post-World War II France. Thematically true to form, it abounds in unrestrained passions, tragedy, and foreboding. The recounting falls to Estelle, the last member of the Helleur family to inherit the terrible knowledge of her family's tragic past. In need of catharsis, Estelle calls out to madame-not a real person but an indefinable concept-whose creative genius she hopes will be inspired to transform her story into opera, the only artistry dramatic enough to encompass the eternal love and endless suffering of the Helleurs. Like Estelle's elusive madame, Fleutiaux has created a work of operatic proportions, one that carries its readers on great waves of emotion. We Are Eternal, which won France's prestigious Prix Femina, is the first of Fleutiaux's novels to be published in the United States. Recommended for lazy summer days and long winter nights.-Janet Wilson Reit, Univ. of Vermont Lib., Burlington
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316286176
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 8/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st English language ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 565
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.48 (d)

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