The Basque landscape is a delightfully sinister setting for the taut and cinematic Unforgivable, the #1 bestseller from French novelist Philippe Djian. Francis, a sixty-year-old author, has not written a word in the twelve years since his first wife and eldest daughter died in a tragic accident. Now his surviving daughter, Alice, a famous actress, has vanished, leaving her husband and twin daughters clueless as to her whereabouts. Francis’s second marriage of ten years, to Judith, is also falling apart, and his distress is compounded by his anxiety over Alice’s disappearance. He finds comfort in the company of an old friend, Anne-Marguerite, along with her son, Jérémie, a laconic criminal attempting to remake himself in the outside world. But when Francis employs them to uncover evidence of his second wife’s affair and to help find his daughter, things go from bad to worse.
An exquisite storyteller and prose writer, author Djian "has no equal . . . as the interrogator of the relationships that bind human beings together" (Vogue, France). A mesmerizing literary thriller, Unforgivable is full of setbacks and revelations—an unsettling and starkly elegant meditation on family bonds, betrayals, and reconciliation.
Billed as a literary thriller, this clever if downbeat novel from French author Djian (Betty Blue) is likely to appeal more to mainstream readers than genre fans. Francis, a fussy, 60-year-old writer, and his second wife, who live in a tiny village on France's Atlantic coast, await the arrival of his screen actress daughter, Alice. When Alice fails to show, her husband reveals that she's missing and presumed kidnapped. Unhappy with the police response, Francis hires PI Anne-Marguerite L mo, who happens to be a casual lover of his from years ago, to look for Alice. Anne-Marguerite's misfit son, J r mie, who's been recently released from prison, joins the group orbiting the not particularly likable Francis. Djian slowly discloses the story of Alice and Francis in flashbacks and flash forwards, an unusual approach that lends the book much of its interest. The mystery of Alice's disappearance serves mainly as a vehicle for exploring the various personal relationships.