‘Maylis de Kerangal conjures the same painterly realism her characters hope to achieve in paint’ London Magazine’Evocative and exhilerating’ Booklist’Maylis de Kerangal is mining a rich and individual seam’ TImes Literary SupplementBehind the ornate doors of the Institut de Peinture in Brussels, Kate, Jonas and Paula begin their apprenticeship in decorative painting, the art of visual deception. An intense year of study will cement a friendship that lasts long after their formal education ends. Paula’s initiation into trompe l’oeil will take her back through time and place as she strives for perfection. From her work on the film sets of Cinecitta to the prehistoric caves of Lascaux, her experiences will transcend artistic endeavour and gradually reveal something of her own inner world and the secret, unreachable desires of her heart.
This is a coming-of-age novel like no other: an atmospheric and highly aesthetic portrayal of love, art and craftsmanship from the prize-winning author of Birth of a Bridge and Mend the Living.
Translated from the French by Jessica Moore