'A novel of tremendous beauty . . . A wonderful achievement' Sarah Waters
'A beautiful and extraordinary book' Philip Pullman
When Suzanne, a shy 17-year-old, meets the brilliant but troubled Lucie in rural Provence at the turn of the twentieth century, the two young women embark on a clandestine love affair. But they soon long for greater freedom.
The lovers move to Paris where they recreate themselves entirely, as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore. Before long, they are mixing in the most glamorous social circles and producing art of great power and strangeness.
But the world is rapidly darkening around them. With war looming they leave Paris for Jersey, and it is here that they confront their destiny, dreaming up a campaign of propaganda against Hitler's occupying forces that will put their love - and even their very existence - in jeopardy.
From one of our most celebrated writers, Never Anyone but You explores the gripping true story of two extraordinary women who smashed gender boundaries and ultimately risked their lives to overcome oppression. Theirs is a story that has been hidden in the margins of history - until now...
The evocative latest from Thomson (Katherine Carlyle) follows two unsung female French World War II heroes and traces their lives from their teen years to their deaths. The book's narrator, Suzanne Malherbe, almost 17, meets the charismatic and mature 14-year-old Lucie Schwob in their hometown of Nantes in 1909; they bond immediately and become lovers after a few years. Lucie, a free spirit, reinvents herself as Claude Courlis (later Cahun), and Suzanne follows suit, calling herself Marcel Moore, both reasoning that the male names better suit their independent identities. In Paris in the 1920s and '30s the two (Suzanne a photographer and illustrator, Lucie a writer and model for Suzanne) hobnob with Surrealist artists and writers and later move to the British island of Jersey off the Normandy coast, where they create a clandestine anti-Nazi propaganda campaign during the German occupation. The push and pull between the rock-steady Suzanne and the more volatile and sensitive Lucie is a constant undercurrent, but the strength of their relationship is never more powerful than during their face-off with the Nazis and their subsequent survival. In this seamless and comprehensive tale, Thomson shines a light on two impressive and memorable life stories. , Correction: this review originally misspelled the author's name.