The Idea of Love (Hardcover)

By Louise Dean

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151013852, 336pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2009

August 2009 Indie Next List

“English businessman Richard Bird has risen through the ranks in the pharmaceutical industry. Living in France, married to an unhappy French woman, his life unravels when the travel, sleeping around, and drinking take their toll and his wife has an affair with the American next door. The writing is terrific in this perceptive and sometimes troubling story, where every character has a theory of what love is, but only a few find out what it really means.”
— Nancy Fontaine, The Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, VT
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When a cluster of expatriate families converges on Provence, it seems as if sunshine, good wine, and an endless round of parties will make for a better life. Then Richard, a pharmaceutical salesman married to sexy Valerie, lands a plum assignment: introducing antidepressants into Africa, virgin territory for the drug industry and for the womanizing he has honed to a science. And idealistic Rachel finds herself Africa-bound too, in search of a little brother or sister for her daughter, Maud, and following some deeper longing she can't seem to quell.

For both Richard and Rachel, the excursions will lead them into their own private heart of darkness, and will bring shock waves home to their little Eden, unsettling the very idea of love.

Praise For The Idea of Love

"An acute, cynical wit…An unforgettable study of the dark side of the mind."--The Times (UK)

"A dark and thought-provoking tale of what happens when dreams crack at the seams… This dares to say what nobody else will about marriage. Written with bite and edge, it will force you to question if anyone is capable of being faithful …"--Eve (UK)