This beautiful, dream-like novel is about loss, the unreliability of memory and the stories we invent about ourselves.
In the spring of 1958, journalist Frances Daye is persuaded to follow the trail of yet another woman thought to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia. While she searches for Ania through the avenues and boulevards of Paris, she is haunted by memories of her past and begins a poignant tale of her own. The labyrinth of the beautiful city mirrors the twists and turns of the narrative as Frances wanders the streets searching for Ania and trying to make sense of the maze of her own memories.
Juliet Bates’ strong visual sense enables her to paint with intensity the colours and textures of the characters’ experiences. We feel the slipperiness of the silk that the seamstress is stitching and we hear the click of the shutter as Frances’ father captures the perfect combination of light and shadow in his photographs.