Who hasn’t dreamed of a life in the perfect French chateau?
Shortly after the events of 9/11, author Casper Silk (aka Germaine Shames) and her British partner considered making France a second home and set out to find the quintessential Gallic village. Hate crimes had recently spiked in urban France, but Silk had difficulty reconciling the headlines with the placid bonhomie that graced the countryside.
Silk’s forthcoming novel, Echo Year, explores this paradox through the eyes of electronics magnate David Crown who, at midlife, seizes the dream and buys a golden chateau. When Crown finds himself at the scene of a hate crime, his idyll abruptly ends.
With hate crimes endemic to many countries, why did the author focus on France? “France has both the largest Arab and Jewish populations of any country in the EU,” explains Silk, “which makes it a crucible of coexistence on a continent that, historically, has not been particularly hospitable to either group.”
The author began to research and write the book in late 2001, unwittingly foreshadowing the civil unrest that would erupt in France’s banlieues in 2005 and again in 2007. Says Silk, “In Echo Year a Jewish man reaches out to an Arab teenager living in poverty and hopelessness, and a life-changing friendship develops.”
The power of personal connection to heal society is a recurring theme in Silk’s novels. In the case of Echo Year, perpetrator and witness reach across the divide of hatred and discover a deeper affinity.
Francophiles will find plenty to love in this colorful tale of truffle thieves, haunted gargoyles, and the Bastille Day celebration to end all.
Echo Year will be released November 25, 2013. Can’t wait that long? Join our mailing list for a chance to read the book long before it hits Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
“In this well-crafted literary novel, the author captures the myriad nuances of a mid-life crisis and brings to life an idyllic village in the French Midi only to haunt it with dark forces. The perfect chateau proves no refuge for protagonist David Crown. Amid a hail of firebombs and truffles, his world comes tumbling down.” David Liss
“Emotive. Sad. Beautiful. Funny. Echo Year is terrific.” Sam Millar, NY Journal of Books
About the Author
Casper Silk is the pseudonym of award-winning novelist Germaine Shames (You, Fascinating You; Between Two Deserts). Silk, author of Hotel Noir, has been compared to such luminaries as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Graham Greene, and early P.D. James “on steroids.”
View the book trailer: http://youtu.be/HVJmy8FpUdk