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French Girl with Mother

A Novel

List Price: $16.95

October 10, 2017 | Paperback | 5.8125 x 8.75, 320 Pages | ISBN 9781640090125
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French Girl with Mother is a provocative, propulsive thriller that marries the spirit of James Salter with a hint of Patricia Highsmith and the velocity of The Art Forger.

Nathan is a young artist traveling across Europe in search of the emotional fire that has been missing from his work. He’s been deemed by his mentors and critics as technically skillful but uninspired — criticisms he fears to be true. On a Paris street, he witnesses the volatile breakup of a young French woman and her beau. Nathan pursues a meeting with the woman and it very quickly becomes evident that her provocative charisma and scathing beauty just may conjure the electricity he has been seeking for his work. So when the woman invites him to her parents’ crumbling, centuries-old chateau in the country to allow him to sketch her, he accepts, knowing that this proposition is both ill-advised and exciting.

Once enveloped by this isolated estate, a door opens to a world Nathan is not prepared for. The arrival of the young woman’s family — her mother, a volatile, voracious former ballerina, her father, a mysterious businessman with secrets of his own, and her uncle, who just might be trafficking in art forgeries — triggers a series of dire events. Very soon Nathan is caught in a web of sexual treachery, family secrets, betrayal, and crime.

French Girl with Mother is a sexy, page-turning novel that also examines provocative questions about art and its inspirations. Who is the muse? Who is the artist? And, most important, whose power will win out?

NORMAN OLLESTAD is the author of the 2009 bestseller Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival. Ollestad’s writing has received extraordinary praise from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly, and has won admiration from esteemed voices including Russell Banks, Jim Harrison, Susan Cheever, and Carolyn See, and invited comparisons to Tobias Wolff and Jon Krakauer.


“A unique, atmospheric literary thriller with a strong sense of place that will have appeal for fans of both Scandinavian crime fiction and psychological thrillers.” —Booklist

“Ollestad builds a delicate tension between the characters, exposing their raw desire and exploring the concept of artistic inspiration . . . A quietly tense and absorbing read.” —Kirkus

Body Heat meets Swimming Pool with an injection of Patricia Highsmith.” —The Hollywood Reporter

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