Tuesday 15 January 2019

Review ~ That Deplorable Boy by Jasper Barry

(Miremont Trilogy #2)

My thanks to the author for my copy of this book
The long-awaited follow-up to The Second Footman. 
A modern take on the nineteenth-century novel, set in 1880s’ France and full of period detail and atmosphere. 

No matter how deplorable Max Fabien appears there is something about this deliciously handsome boy which intrigues and captivates, and perhaps, dare I say it, enthrals even more in this second volume of the trilogy which began with The Second Footman.

In That Deplorable Boy we catch up with the Marquis de Miremont and his young lover when they are some years into their clandestine relationship. Miremont is as besotted as ever with his young protégé and yet, there are signs that perhaps Max has had his head, and affections, turned by other more interesting sexual conquests. Overwhelmed with jealousy, Miremont must not only cope with his feelings of rage towards the perfidity of his young lover, but must also contend with the dreaded arrival of his estranged wife and the interference of his elder daughter as Miremont prepares to launch his younger daughter into the maelstrom which masquerades as the crème de la crème of Parisian high society. 

The author writes so beautifully that, with the utmost charm, the glory of Belle Époque Paris comes gloriously to life, from the boudoirs and grand salons of the great and the not so good, the story never falters, and there is never a moment when you don’t believe, with absolute conviction, that you are walking along the same streets and boulevards as Max Fabien, tiptoeing in his shadow as he goes about his sometimes shady business. And what a fabulous character he is, this deplorable boy who charms you with a glance and then cuts you down like a knife through butter. 

The story is complex, filled with intricate detail of Max and Miremont’s life together and yet, at the same time, there is a real sense of historical authenticity in the way that the places, the people and the era blend together so seamlessly. There is no doubt that from the tip of its glorious cover, to the very last word, That Deplorable Boy is every bit as good as I knew it would be.

If you haven't caught up with this trilogy, then do start with The Second Footman and go back in time to the glorious Belle Époque and become acquainted with Max Fabien.


 About the Author

Jasper Barry graduated from Cambridge with a degree in English and has worked in advertising, then in journalism. Jasper lives in London with too many books and three obstreperous cats.

Twitter @JasperBarry2

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