Reminiscent of the work of near contemporary, Marie Darrieussecq, Ovaldé's fiction is ineffably French – her romantically inclined characters not quite of this world.
Lancelot Rubinstein is a reclusive proof-reader who lives quietly with his second wife, Irina, in an "elastic suburb" in a chilly northern state. Sustained by green tea and love, he considers himself happy.
Then late one night he gets a call from the police telling him his wife's car has been found in a river. This comes as a shock, not least because he'd only just waved her off at the airport.
We gradually piece together what happened, and why Lancelot's wife has always proved a phantom of sorts.
An engaging story of bereavement and loss, playfully translated by Adriana Hunter.Reuse content