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***Translation sample available***
Claire has developed a comfortable if quirky life in which she is happily alone. She works as much as she needs, as a copy editor, from home, where she can arrange things exactly as she wants them. She is passionate only about the lives of others as she sees them from afar—through her building’s inner courtyard windows. The windows that she looks into she calls “luminous aquariums.”
Although Claire distrusts most adults, she does have more people, if not friends, in her life than just the neighbors behind the glass. There is her doctor, whom she sees regularly and who thinks her more than a bit of a hypochondriac; her chiropractor boyfriend, who is sometimes, though irregularly, allowed to enter her life; and her boss, who, as head of the publishing company, tries without success to convince her that what he publishes is of the highest caliber.
And then things change. An elegant Japanese man moves into the apartment immediately across from Claire, and a noisy, nosy bachelor moves into the apartment above hers. The Japanese man, Mr. Ishida, tells her he works for the Japanese embassy, talks to her about things Japanese, treats her to rare teas, and becomes the source of sensual dreams. The man upstairs, Rosetti, also breaks through her solitary ways with his noise and intrusiveness, inviting himself to her apartment, looking with her into the windows across the way, and asking her about Mr. Ishida.
Then, after leaving Claire the keys to his apartment, Mr. Ishida disappears. A note is slipped under her door telling her to meet him in the gardens of the Musée Rodin and to beware of being followed. But she is followed—by Rosetti. And the real story starts.
Sophie Bassignac : Sophie Bassignac is the author of three previous novels, Les aquariums lumineux (Éditions Denoël, 2008), À la recherche d’Alice (Éditions Denoël, 2009), and Dos à dos (J.C. Lattès, 2011). Her first novel was sold in six countries (Italy: Einaudi; Spain: Grijalbo Mondadori; Poland: Amber; Russia: Atticus; South Korea: Mellon; China: Phoenix)..