Patrick DeWitt’s latest sparkles with his usual skill and is a pure pleasure to read. Fabulously wealthy Frances Price and her feckless son Malcolm have run out of money, so they flee Manhattan for a friend’s flat in Paris, encountering the most random selection of oddballs. Frances is a brilliant creation – witty and intelligent, with a turn of phrase that can cut like a knife. It’s impossible not to fall in love with her. This wonderful novel is touching, surreal and wildly hilarious. I loved every word.
- Recommended by Martin Shannon, Dubray Dun Laoghaire
A comedy/tragedy of manners. The new novel from the Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Sisters Brothers
Frances Price - tart widow, possessive mother and Upper East Side force of nature - is in dire straits, beset by scandal. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there's their cat, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral lawyer whose gruesome tabloid death rendered them social outcasts.
To put their troubles behind them, the trio cut their losses and head for the exit. Their beloved Paris becomes the backdrop for a giddy drive to self-destruction, helped along by a cast of singularly curious characters: a bashful private investigator, an aimless psychic and Mme. Reynard, friendly American expat and aggressive houseguest.
Brimming with pathos, warmth and wit, French Exit is a one-of-a-kind tragedy of manners, a riotous send-up of high society and a moving story of mothers and sons.