Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.
As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, a young Scottish widow and the Tower's engineer fall in love.
In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Emile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris--a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who, because of her precarious financial situation, is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Emile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family's business and choose a suitable wife. With these constraints of class and wealth, Cait and Emile must decide what their love is worth.
Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Emile live--one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and bohemian independence, strict tradition and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman's place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions, and the sacrifices love requires of us all.
Beatrice Colin's most recent novel is To Capture What We Cannot Keep. She also wrote The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite (published as The Glimmer Palace in the US) and The Songwriter. She has been shortlisted for a British Book Award, a Saltire Award and a Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award and writes short stories, screen and radio plays and for children.
Beatrice Colin is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Strathclyde University in Glasgow.
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - C format