the reinvention of love - a novel by helen humphreys

the reinvention of love   (2011)

  • longlisted for the 2013 dublin impac literary award
  • shortlisted for the canadian authors association fiction award

when charles sainte-beuve, an ambitious french journalist, meets victor hugo, a young writer on the verge of fame, he finds himself in a world of great passions, a world in which words can become swords. but charles is also attracted to victor�s long-suffering wife, adèle, and when the two lovers create a scandale in paris, victor exacts his price for betrayal.

set during the tumultuous reign of napoleon iii, and sweeping from france to the channel islands, to halifax and back, the reinvention of love draws a rich portrait of the old city, where duels are fought in its parks and cholera-ridden bodies float in the seine. along its narrow, crime-filled streets, noble families and artists�chopin, george sand, alexandre dumas�mix with ordinary citizens, still restless with ideas of revolution. and towering over all is the enormous talent of victor hugo, who is quickly becoming the voice of france to the world.

the reinvention of love turns historical fact into an atmospheric, delicately wrought story of inescapable family ties and forbidden love.

"the reinvention of love, is more than the romantic story of an illicit affair, it is also a clever, witty inquiry into the nature of love, reminiscent of the metaphysical poets."
the globe and mail
"love is finally reinvented, restored to its purity, in this haunting, moving and stylish study of hearts laid bare. set against a vividly evoked picture of a generation in love with love, it is a compelling exploration of desire and its tentacular costs."
the times literary supplement
"the work is a triumph of lucid, vigorous, suspenseful narrative, a historical fiction that wears the author�s knowledge of the past lightly, a convincing study of character that could be set in almost any civilized era."
national post

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