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A dark story of love and betrayal set against the brilliant colors of the Catalan country in southern France.This novel, long out of print, is a powerful successor to Testimonies, Patrick O'Brian's first novel written for adults. It is set in that corner of France that became O'Brian's adopted home, where the long dark wall of the Pyrenees runs headlong to meet the Mediterranean. Alan Roig returns to Saint-Feliu after years in the East, and finds his family in crisis. His dour, middle-aged cousin Xavier, mayor and most powerful citizen of the town, has fallen in love and plans to marry the young daughter of the local grocer. The Roig family property is threatened by this union, and Madeleine's relatives object on different grounds.
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Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).Set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's twenty-volume series centers on the enduring friendship between naval officer Jack Aubrey and physician (and spy) Stephen Maturin. The Far Side of the World, the tenth book in the series, was adapted into a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. The books are now available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format.In addition to the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian wrote several books including the novels Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore, as well as biographies of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He translated many works from French into English, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir, the first volume of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, and famed fugitive Henri Cherrière's memoir Papillon. O'Brian died in January 2000.From AudioFile:
Alain returns to his homestead in the south of France after a long absence. He finds his patrician relatives in turmoil because his morose, aged cousin, the mayor, wants to marry a grocers daughter, over the objections of both families. Upon investigating, Alain finds himself falling for the girl himself. Though the story apparently takes place in modern times, the characters speak and act like those in the authors popular Aubrey/Maturin novels, set in the nineteenth century. Long rhetorical speeches abound, seasoned with touches of dry humor and a pronounced continental atmosphere. All is mothers milk to narrator Simon Vance, whose gusto, lingual aplomb, and large repertoire of characterizations keep listeners alert through many a fustian passage. Y.R. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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