Frances is a graduate student spending a summer volunteering in rural France, in the hope that tending vegetables and harvesting honey will distract her from a scandal that drove her out of Paris, her research unfinished and her sense of self unmoored.
At the eco-farm Noa Noa, she comes under the influence of its charismatic and domineering owner, Paul. As his hold over her tightens and her plans come unstuck, she finds herself entangled in a strange, uneven relationship. On a fraught road trip across the South of France, both are forced to reckon with uncomfortable truths.
A compelling and perturbing story of power, passivity and the cage of being ‘good’, Paul introduces a novelist of extraordinary perspicacity and lyricism.
I cherished this moreish, dreamy, hazy novel... I know I will return many times to inhabit the world Lafarge has written so exquisitely -- Megan Nolan Crisp and elegant, the sentences both vivid and precise... With an intelligence lightly worn, this is an immersive, maddening, unsettling read -- Sean Hewitt * Irish Times * Daisy Lafarge's debut is a force to be reckoned with: all sinewy prose and sharp compulsion, with deep insight about the choreography of power and its eerie, unsettling flavor. As she pulls on the loose threads of the male artist's mythos, more unravels than mere secrets -- Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun Highly readable... with a sensual elegance and sense of foreboding * Observer * A work of dark, shimmering genius, which explores the toxicity of patriarchy with excoriating intelligence, verve and originality -- Rebecca Tamas, author of WITCH Daisy Lafarge brings the same scientific rigour and startling intelligence that so distinguish her poetry to this taut and lyrical novel -- Chloe Aridjis Arresting... a creeping sense of claustrophobia that expands with such overbearing stealth, it practically becomes a character in itself... a white-knuckle ride not because of any attendant thrills and spills but because the tension is perpetually on the brink of boiling, and then boiling over * i paper * Lafarge's writing really shines... Essentially a novel about a toxic relationship, Paul's many layers of imbalance cover language and voice, complicity, age, and life experience * Evening Standard * [A] lyrical debut novel... A compelling read * Literary Review * Daisy Lafarge excels at portraying the untethered, unnerving stage of life most of us know intimately; that moment between the unravelling and its aftermath... A hauntingly moving book -- Kerri ni Dochartaigh Hypnotic... A formidable and heady novel * The Fountain * A brilliantly unsettling debut about male power and female passivity -- Editor's Choice, August fiction * Bookseller * Paul has a neat, intuitive structure... Its plot is light and fast-moving... [a] beautifully constructed novel -- Lamorna Ash * Guardian * As unsettling as it is captivating, Paul is a brilliantly subtle excavation of a toxic relationship -- Mark O'Connell Lafarge has written a book that feels intimate and epic, gives pleasure even as it makes pleasure the site of loss: "the limit of everything" -- Bhanu Kapil It's beautifully written, Lafarge's well-observed exploration of the power disparity between the pair [is] deepened and textured by intricate, allusive shades of meaning * Herald * [A] tense debut from an acclaimed poet... a compellingly creepy study of psychosexual power dynamics that doubles as a shrewd portrait of drifting millennial womanhood * Daily Mail * Carefully structured and at times an uncomfortable read, the book has shades of Sally Rooney's hit novels Normal People and Conversations With Friends. Just as it feels that Frances will not be able to escape Paul's hold on her, Lafarge offers a sliver of hope for the fight against the patriarchy * Scotland on Sunday * Lafarge is one to watch if this dazzling debut is anything to go by... cinematic * Good Housekeeping *
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