Amy Hawkins, a Palo Alto girl who made herself a dot-com fortune, goes to France to get a sheen of sophistication and, perhaps, to have an affair that will ruffle her all-too-steady heart. She starts her quest in a glamorous resort in the French Alps, amid an assortment of aristocrats and ski enthusiasts. But when two of the hotel’s guests are swept away by an avalanche, Adrian’s children—young, old, legitimate, illegitimate—assemble to protect their interests, feuding under the competing laws of the British, American, and French systems.
Amy, already suspect because she is American, steps in to assist, and unintentionally sets in motion a series of events that spotlight ancient national differences, customs, and laws. Filled with love, sex, death, and travel, L’Affaire is National Book Award finalist Diane Johnson at her very best.
Praise For L'Affaire…
“Like the wildly successful Le Divorce and Le Mariage, Johnson's latest novel explores the strange alchemy that occurs when American and European social mores collide… Johnson's novel is exactly the kind of intricate, bittersweet comedy of manners her many fans have come to expect.”—Booklist
"Immensely amusing… devilishly on target."—The New York Times Book Review
"An international confection in which each flavor remains distinct, the comedy high, the suspense sharp." —Los Angeles Times
"Full of tip-top invention [and] lightness of touch that has nearly disappeared from literary fiction, comic or otherwise… a pleasure."—The Atlantic
“An engaging story of Americans abroad and the cultural mayhem that follows in their wake. Johnson's trademark ability to deliver insightful observations on cultural stereotypes makes the novel delightfully entertaining. This fresh and sophisticated satire brings each character's motivations and prejudices sharply into focus, making the reader aware that perhaps we are all more alike than we care to think.”—Joni Rendon, BookPage
Plume, 9780452285637, 352pp.
Publication Date: August 31, 2004