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Descrição da editora
In this haunting novel, a young nurse forms an unlikely connection with the elderly man she cares for, and finds herself confronting the guilt she carries from her past
Marguerite Demers is twenty-five when she leaves Paris for the sleepy southern village of Saint Sulpice to take up a job as a live-in nurse. Her charge is Jerome Lanvier--once one of the most powerful men in the village, now dying alone in his large and secluded house surrounded by rambling neglected gardens. Manipulative and tyrannical, Jerome has scared away all of his previous caretakers.
It's not long before the villagers have formed opinions of Marguerite. Brigitte Brochon, pillar of the community and local busybody, finds her arrogant and mysterious and is desperate to find a reason to have her fired. Glamorous outsider Suki Lacourse sees Marguerite as an ally in a sea of small-minded provincialism. Local farmer Henri Brochon, husband of Brigitte, feels sorry for her and wants to protect her from the villagers' intrusive gossip and speculation (but Henri has a secret of his own that would scandalize his neighbors, if only they knew). The sudden arrival of Jerome's three sons will upend the rhythm of their days, changing their lives forever.
Set among the lush fields and olive groves of southern France, and written in clear prose of luminous beauty, Marguerite is an unforgettable novel that traces the ways in which guilt can be transformed, and how people can unexpectedly find a sense of redemption.
In Kemp's stellar debut, a young nurse gets caught up in romance, jealousy, and gossip on a farm in the South of France. Having trained to become a nurse in order to help treat her sister's meningitis, Marguerite Demers takes a job caring for the prideful, cruel J r me Lanvier at his dilapidated Saint-Sulpice farmhouse. There, she befriends Suki, an Iranian who wears a hijab, causing the townspeople to call her a "witch doctor." Both women provoke jealousy in Brigitte, who, along with her husband, Henri, works for J r me. Suki has long been picked on by gossipy and insecure Brigitte, who slanders her perceived rivals with abandon. Meanwhile, Henri, a handsome, sensitive farmer, is having an affair with Edgar, a writer, and is resigned to stay at the farm with Brigitte, where he tries to find contentment working in the dirt, enjoying "the day's long accumulation of filth." As Henri stands up for Marguerite, the pair's connection heightens. Eventually rumors, combined with Suki, Brigitte, and Edgar's jealousy, threaten Marguerite and Henri. Precise, distinctive prose (train doors close "with a hiss like a punctured tyre") and well-drawn characters make this satisfying tale all the more memorable. Expect Kemp to make a big splash.