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Hilary Reyl has a PhD in French literature from NYU with a focus on the nineteenth century, and has spent several years working and studying in France. She lives in New York City with her family. This is her first novel.
February 2018 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: All people have bubbles You’ll smile, you’ll gasp, you’ll root for main character Martin throughout and, while it’s only January, I strongly suspect that this radiant story about relishing memorable moments and making sense of the world will remain one of my Books of the Year. This exquisitely insightful, charming tale is all about the unforgettable voice of 16 year-old Proust-obsessed Martin, who’s in France where his mom is directing a movie. He has Asperger’s and struggles with personal pronouns. “Until I was eight years old, I called myself “you” because that's what everyone else called me, and I called other people "I" because that's what they called themselves", he explains. Like his favoured Proust protagonist, Martin lives through memories and through his devotion to fine detail - of taste, smells, landscape and faces. So, when he meets and falls for Alice, he views her as an incarnation of his favourite Proust heroine. While Martin’s relationships with Alice and the other new kids he encounters are far from straightforward, he moves beyond his Proustian absorption in things past and enriches the lives of many others as his own world expands. As one character realises with wry affection, Martin is “truly cool for a robot”. ~ Joanne Owen
This debut is a seductive, warm and witty coming of age story set in the most romantic city on earth. Kate can’t believe her luck when she nabs a job working for a world famous photo-journalist in Paris. But the reality of the situation comes crashing down on her when it is clear that her boss is up to giving Miranda Priestly (The Devil Wears Prada) a run for her money as a ‘boss from hell’ and the guy she falls for is dating the boss’ daughter!