A Spell in France Book Review

A Spell in France Book Review

Title: A Spell in France
Author: M S Clary
Published: January 18, 2017, Matador
No. of Pages: 191
Cover Price: $.99 Kindle

Sylvie is excited to have a holiday in Nice with her new husband, Trevor. 30 years her senior, his daughter, Harriet is childish and resentful around Sylvie and her hostility is evident. Sylvie looks forward to a nice time away from this and hopes it will energize their romantic relationship. Trevor has friends in Nice that they are going to stay with, but unfortunately, they aren?t home and they stay in a hotel, unsure what happened to his friends. After a romantic dinner and a walk on the beach, Trevor gets ahead of Sylvie and when she gets to the hotel, she is told that her husband has collapsed and is enroute to the hospital. Sylvie is prohibited by the doctors from visiting until morning and when she arrives at the hospital, she is told that he has died. When she goes to the morgue to identify him, she sees that the man there isn?t her husband. The hospital is searched, and apparently his body is misidentified and he is cremated. Harriet comes to Nice, but acts strangely, so Sylvie feels she has no ally.

Three years later, Sylvie has started a new life, works in an art gallery, and starts to have romantic feelings about one of the artists who is doing a display soon. This artist takes photographs to remember the details in his paintings, and while looking at one of the photographs that was recently taken, shows Trevor on a beach in Nice. This is not only upsetting, but she wonders if Trevor could actually be alive.

The story is fairly well-written, but has some holes that will leave readers wondering. For instance, after seeing the photo with Trevor in it, Sylvie goes back to the gallery and finds the photograph missing. The artist assures Sylvie that he has the negatives, but they are confiscated by a police officer, so she can?t recheck the photo. There isn?t really an explanation of who did this (one surmises later), and it could have been clearer in the story. It also seems that the story is surreal; the characters don?t act like we would expect. Harriet and her hostility seem a bit over the top after Trevor disappears, especially since she and Sylvie have gone through the same loss. While in Nice, Harriet doesn?t seem to be upset that her father is dead, but that isn?t explained. It seems that Harriet must know something that Sylvie doesn?t.

All told, this is an interesting story, but some of the parts could use better explanations. Although readers find out what happens in the end, it is a disappointing ending.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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