In Twilight, award-winning novelist and poet Katherine Mosby weaves the unforgettable story of a woman's sexual and political awakening, in Paris, on the verge of World War II. Mosby, whose prose Time called "rich and accomplished," evokes in Twilight a complex moment in history seen through the prism of a poignant love story.
By breaking off her engagement to an emotionally remote fiancé, Lavinia Gibbs avoids a stifling marriage -- but outrages her socially prominent family, who fear she has consigned herself to spinsterhood. Instead she sails for Europe to begin the process of rebuilding her life. Ever practical, Lavinia makes a new home in Paris, where she determines she needs more than beautiful architecture and entrée with the expats to make a full life. Lavinia wisely adds into the mix a pug and employment, but it is not until she meets the charming, enigmatic, and long-married Gaston Lesseur that she begins an extraordinary journey of self-discovery and sacrifice that will change her irrevocably.
With luminous prose, Mosby examines the emotional landscape of adultery while creating a powerful yet poignant depiction of a woman's unlikely blossoming. Unlike Flaubert's Madame Bovary, for whom adultery provided escape from an unfulfilling marriage, Lavinia Gibbs longs for the domestic and the luxury of the quotidian in an increasingly precarious world. Mosby creates in Twilight a story that will resonate with readers long after they have finished this book.
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Katherine Mosby's previous works include a collection of poetry, The Book of Uncommon Prayer, and two novels, Private Altars and The Season of Lillian Dawes, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She lives in New York City and teaches at New York University's Stern Business School.From Publishers Weekly:
Mosby (The Season of Lillian Dawes; Private Altars) has built a low-key literary career based on female characters who flout convention, and this potentially engrossing novel set in France on the brink of World War II cleaves to type. When the well-born American Lavinia Gibbs, in her late 30s, shocks her family by breaking off her engagement to a suitable—if dour—man in her own social set, a quick getaway feels necessary, and a transatlantic journey is soon in the offing. Armed with the delicious dual freedoms of solitude and her father's money, Lavinia is in search of adventure in the City of Lights. Despite Lavinia's optimal circumstances—she's a single, sexually adventurous woman with money in Paris—the author never quite manages to conjure up much joie de vivre. Though Mosby has a flair for descriptive passages ("He made even her name look beautiful, slanting in black strokes across the blue stationery, like startled birds filling a patch of sky"), her third novel is diminished by stilted dialogue and slow pacing; readers don't meet Lavinia's main romantic interest until well into the novel's second half. And while Lavinia's romance with the married Frenchman, Gaston Lesseur, is not without its tepid charms, few readers will be swept away by the couple's uninspiring affair. Agent, Kathy Robbins at Authors' Representatives. (June)
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