Reviewer Michelle Kaye Malsbury:
Michelle was born in Champaign, IL. Currently, she resides in Asheville, NC
and is in her second year of doctoral studies at Nova Southeastern
University in Ft. Lauderdale with specialization/concentration in
conflict resolution and peace studies. She has over six hundred
articles published on the web and one book published thus far with
many more in the wings. Hobbies include; reading, writing, music, and
playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Abu.
Author: Camille Laurens
Publisher: Other Press
Camille Laurens, author of Who You Think I Am is from France. (2107, publicists insert) She has won many awards for her novels and essays. In 2000 she won the Prix Femina for Dans ces bras-la’. This novel was later published in the USA under the name of In His Arms. Ms. Laurens lives in Paris, France.
This book was translated by Adriana Hunter, who has translated over fifty books. (2017, publicists insert) Hunter studied French and drama at the University of London. She has won prizes for her work and lives in Norfolk, England.
Who does not use Facebook? The main character Claire is a middle of forties divorced woman looking for some excitement to jazz up her life. She recently had a break-up with a man she believes she is still in love with. His name is Joel, she calls him Joe. In Facebook she creates an alter identity to see what Joel is up to because he has blocked her from his life. She uses the identity of her niece who she also names Claire, actual name is Katia. Her niece is, or would have been had she lived, twenty something and lovely. Claire originally says she is dead from suicide, but in the end you are left to believe this may not be the case.
Eventually she gets a friend of Joel to friend her on Facebook. His name is Christophe. Chris for short. Chris and the new Claire strike up a whimsical friendship. Chris is thirty something and the new Claire is quite a bit younger and supposedly working a job that takes her away from Paris often. Hence they can never meet. This relationship allows the alter Claire and the real Claire to learn what Joel is doing with his life since the break-up.
Chris and Joel become roommates and Joel has a big house where they have girls around and lots of fun. This hurts the real Claire a lot because she does not like that she can so easily be replaced. During her cyber stalking she become neurotic and insecure, maybe she was before. Maybe that is why she and Joel are no longer a couple.
Over the course of several months Chris falls for Claire and the real/alter Claire also falls for Chris, but she realizes that Chris is in love with the Claire she manufactured, not her, and as such they can never meet. She devises many and various ways to keep Chris at bay, but always in her/his heart. Their text messages and phone exchanges become more frequent and deeper. His in a less mature, but sincere nonetheless fashion, than hers. She covets each and every word he says and the way he speaks about them being together. IT dually breaks her heart to know that she has misled him with not one, but several lies.
What will she do? Can she keep Chris at bay forever? I really enjoyed this book and believe you will too!