First published in 1911, this is an ‘ur-page-turner’, set in Normandy in the 1890s. A student from the Sorbonne, writing his thesis in a remote Norman chateau, falls in love with a picture of the owners’ daughter, Isabelle. His quest to find out who she is, where she is and why the family never talk about her is as gripping as anything written in the following 100 years.
Recommended by Max Easterman
Written by André Gide
Translated from the French by Dorothy Bussy
Published (with La Symphonie Pastorale) by Penguin (1990)
Max Easterman is a journalist – he spent 25 years as a senior broadcaster with the BBC – university lecturer, translator, media trainer with ‘Sounds Right’, jazz musician and writer.