The Margot Affair

Hogarth: Crown. Jun. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781984854438. $27. F
DEBUT Lemoine’s novel features a 17-year-old Parisian girl named Margot Louve. Margo has been raised by Anouk, her actress mother, with only occasional visits by her adored father, Bertrand Lapierre, the French Minster of Culture. Bertrand is married with two grown sons. Margot knows about her father’s first family, but it is not until she sees Madame Lapierre that she decides to take action. Yearning to have her father choose herself and her mother, she places her trust in married journalists David and Brigitte. Enamored of the young couple and caught up in her feelings of attraction, Margot realizes too late that her honesty will bring repercussions not only to her parents, but to her own life. Margot is wonderfully portrayed as a young girl teetering on the brink of adulthood. She longs for her father’s love and attention, and develops a sexual attraction to David. No longer a child, she discovers that her adult decisions have consequences.
VERDICT This thoughtful and beautifully written first novel perfectly portrays the inner life of a teen as she navigates the path to adulthood. It’s hard to put down and highly recommended for readers who love coming-of-age stories. [See Prepub Alert, 12/9/19.]

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