Les Inconsolés by Minh Tran Huy
“le présent m’échappe comme il m’a toujours échappé (…), le passé continue de vivre en moi (…) : mes morts sont demeurés dans mon cœur et mon âme quand bien même je m’interdisais de les évoquer, m’accompagnant dans chacun de mes gestes, chacune de mes pensées”.
“The present eludes me as it always has, the past still lives in me, my dead ones breathe in my heart and soul, even though I forbid myself to mention their names, they follow my every move and thought.”
said Line, the narrator of Voyageur malgré lui, Minh Tran Huy’s previous novel. We knew the author’s predilection for tragic love stories, Vietnamese legends, and mysterious plots. The ghosts of love’s labour’s lost return to center stage in her sophisticated new novel that reads like a romantic whodunit.
The first chapters set the tone: a man and a woman throw a human body into a lake surrounded by a forest, under the moonlight, with no explanation of why.
Next comes the encounter between Lise and Louis, students at the prestigious Institute of Political Science, a mandatory step for the French elite. Besides their youth and beauty, they have nothing in common. Louis was born into old aristocracy, while Lise’s parents owe their bourgeois status to their unflinching determination, hard work, and devotion to achieving social success. At first, their opposite background doesn’t stand in the way of their love.
Told through an ingenious series of flashbacks, the story of Lise and Louis keeps readers on their toes: who is responsible for Lise’s disappearance? her sister — and rival since childhood? her too-charming-to-be-honest husband? Or had Lise herself become prey to her own melancolia?
Vietnam’s tragic past and French legends meet in this flamboyant love story that one can’t put down!
Les Inconsolés, a novel by Minh Tran Huy, Actes Sud