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Extended Audio Sample Victorine, by Catherine Texier Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Catherine Texier Narrator: Jurian Hughes Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Texier, author of the 1998 memoir Breakup and three previous novels (Panic Blood, etc.), spins a steely, delicate fictional tale of unaccounted-for years in the life of her own great-grandmother, Victorine, who was rumored to have run off with a customs officer in the late 1890s, leaving behind her husband and two children in Vendee, France. Victorine first met Antoine when she was 16; she was soon to become the youngest teacher in France, and he was intent on venturing to one of the French colonies. As Victorine settles into her work, she meets dark-eyed fellow teacher Armand Texier and pushes Antoine into the recesses of her memory. She and Armand marry in a hurry when Victorine becomes pregnant, but years later, Victorine meets Antoine again and plans rendezvous with him, feeling a "shameful pleasure at the idea that her secret evened out the power" between herself and her womanizing husband. After some deliberation, Victorine agrees to leave her family to move to Indochina with Antoine, where he guarantees to "show [her] a world that [she] will fall in love with." She leaves without confronting her husband or children, and immediately begins to feel regret. As she wrestles with the prospect of contacting her sister, who also lives in Indochina, or even her family back in Vendee, Victorine remains entrenched in a "split reality" where she must convince herself that the present can, in fact, always be reinvented. Texier offers seamless transitions between the past and present, and even the future as an older Victorine reflects upon her days in the Mekong Delta. Lurking questions of empire and expansion lend an extra dimension to this bittersweet romance, reminiscent both of Madame Bovary and Duras's The Lover, making plain the temptations and risks of expanding beyond one's borders.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Michelle | 6/10/2013

    " Loved this book! Loved the flow, the pauses, and the fact that it's based on the author's relative. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Michele St John | 9/29/2012

    " Victorine: A Novel by Catherine Texier (2004) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Joan Keating | 9/15/2012

    " Well written, engrossing, passionate. Good read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Wightknyte11 | 5/24/2012

    " Texier writes beautiful prose. I kept getting reminded of an oil painting while I read. I felt like I could just keep looking at the delicate brushstrokes. Wonderfully crafted. "

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About the Author

Catherine Texier is the author of four novels, including Chloé l’Atlantique, Love Me Tender, and Panic Blood, as well as a memoir, Breakup. She was the co-editor of the literary magazine Between C & D, is a regular contributor to the New York Times, and has written for Newsday, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, and Nerve.com. Texier lives in New York City.