Click Here To Purchase Reinvention of Love

Author: Helen Humphreys

ISBN: 978-1-55468-443-4

Publisher: Serpents Tail

With her The Reinvention of Love,  Helen Humphreys has sewn a bittersweet love triangle in nineteenth century Paris during the tempestuous reign of Napoleon III as it sweeps us from France to the Channel Islands, to Halifax and back.

Charles Sainte-Beuve is an ambitious critic, friend and admirer of Victor Hugo. As soon as he meets Adele Hugo, the mother of Victor Hugo's four children, it is an instantaneous“coup de foudre” for both of them. They cannot wait to be in each others arms, even though Charles is a hermaphrodite. In fact, Charles often disguises himself as Charlotte in order to freely meet Adele without being hampered by his masculine side. And Adele adores him and often  her youngest daughter Dédé tags along.

After a few weeks of passionate lovemaking, the two lovers admit their affair to Victor, who then strives to keep them apart. Charles then lives in the past, writing his memoirs in poetic form... and Adele lives in regret.

Leopoldine, the eldest child of the Hugos drowns in a boating accident and leaves a big hole in the lives of her family. Victor Hugo is exiled because of his political ideas and transplants his downsized family. as well as his mistress to Guernsey.

Dédé grows up and falls in love with an English soldier. She follows him to Halifax but, unfortunately, he does not return his love to her and eventually she sucombs to madness.

There has been the issue with some reviewers concerning the author's use of the present tense when describing past events.  I believe that on the contrary, vicariously living the past in the present tugs at your heart's romantic tendencies.

In the end, the author has woven a rich tapestry of poetic musing, love feelings and old age. The characters are true to life, as we feel the impossibility of their love. A truly poetic work of penmanship. Kudoos to the author! If you are a romantic at heart, you will adore this book.

(The following bio has been taken from Helen Humphreys website)

Helen Humphreys is the author of four books of poetry, five novels, and one work of creative non-fiction. She was born in Kingston-on-Thames, England, and now lives in Kingston, Ontario with her dog, Hazel.

Her first novel, Leaving Earth (1997), won the 1998 City of Toronto Book Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her second novel, Afterimage (2000), won the 2000 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her third novel, The Lost Garden (2002), was a 2003 Canada Reads selection, a national bestseller, and was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Wild Dogs (2004) won the 2005 Lambda Prize for fiction, has been optioned for film, and was produced as a stage play at CanStage in Toronto in the fall of 2008. Coventry (2008) was a #1 national bestseller, was chosen as one of the top 100 books of the year by the Globe & Mail, and was chosen one of the top ten books of the year by both the Ottawa Citizen and NOW Magazine.

Humphreys' work of creative non-fiction, The Frozen Thames (2007), was a #1 national bestseller. Her collections of poetry include Gods and Other Mortals (1986); Nuns Looking Anxious, Listening to Radios (1990); and, The Perils of Geography (1995). Her latest collection, Anthem (1999), won the 2000 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry.


Click Here To Purchase Reinvention of Love