At the heart of Ellen Gilchrist’s novel is the incorrigible Amanda McCamey. Leaving a troubled past behind, she marries into New Orleans’ high society but finds the privileged world stifling and unsatisfying. Seeking a quieter, more meaningful life, she divorces and moves to the Ozarks where she translates poetry and surrounds herself with artists and intellectuals. Her friend Katie, a brilliant sculptor, brings out the wild child in Amanda, but it is Will, an intense young musician, who captivates her. What begins as a sexual tryst quickly becomes a grand and impossible passion that mirrors the life of the eighteenth-century French poet whose work Amanda is translating. But her new life is interrupted when her past comes back to haunt her. With beauty, humor, and luminescent prose, Gilchrist paints an evocative portrait of a woman finally coming into her own.
"Gilchrist's accomplished first novel is absorbing, rich, and evocative as she explores the heart and mind of a woman who has the courage to risk traveling an unconventional path in an effort to find the way to herself." —Publishers Weekly
"Women’s fiction par excellence … Amanda is in some ways a receptacle for current romantic clichés, but she is also a vivid character or dash and humor [who] has at last made her way to autonomy." —Harper's Magazine
"A fast-paced, often funny and touching novel." —Library Journal
"Both stylish and idiomatic—a rare and potent combination." —Times Literary Supplement