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Edition details


Publication date
1st September 2012


Gallic Books

Extent (number of pages)

Alison Anderson


UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada/Australia & New Zealand) : Exclusive ROW (excluding U.S and dependencies): Non-exclusive

BIC category


The Confidant

(e Confident)


A gripping study of the destruction unleashed when human desires for love and motherhood turn to obsession.

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A gripping study of the destruction unleashed when human desires for love and motherhood turn to obsession.

‘I got a letter one day, a long letter that wasn’t signed.’ Camille reads this narration of events from pre-war France, certain that it has been sent to her by mistake. Then more letters start to arrive… They tell of a friendship struck up between a young village girl, Annie, and Madame M, a bourgeois lady. To begin with the women simply share a love of art, but when Annie offers to carry a child for her infertile friend, their lives become intimately entwined. The child is born on the eve of the German invasion of France, and the repercussions of her birth are still felt decades later.

‘A spellbinding tale of love and obsession’ Editor’s Pick, amazon.co.uk
‘The layers and echoes are skilfully compiled to offer a gripping account of both doomed love and wartime France’ Daily Mail
‘A heady tale of barren wombs, jealousy, betrayal and death’ The Guardian
‘The past is skilfully and evocatively conjured … the inner lives of Annie, Madame M and Louis are perfectly captured and convincing. It is an impressive debut.’ The Independent
The Confidant is a must read for anyone who loves intrigue. It will keep you guessing until the very last page – beautifully written, original and thoroughly engaging.’ Sandra Smith, translator of Suite Française
The Confidant is an impressive blend of historical precision, high suspense and sharp-sighted psychological truths. That fierce, unflinching examination of women, motherhood and feminism combined with love, passion and human desire is absolutely riveting. Grémillon has so much empathy for all her characters and at the same time such an unflinching eye. A gorgeous, captivating novel with brilliant storytelling. I finished it and wanted to start reading it all over again. It’s a novel that will stay with me.’ Amanda Hodgkinson, author of 22 Britannia Road
‘A mesmerising story of obsession, lies and secrets … The twists and turns of the narrative will enthral you; as the plot intensifies so will your attention.’ Anne Rampton, Reviewer
‘This French bestseller delivers an intriguing plot that grabs your attention from the first page and keeps you guessing until the end’ France Magazine
‘An absolutely brilliant debut that builds in momentum, gradually unravelling the mysteries and inconsistencies of the plot to hold the reader in suspense to the final page’ We Love This Book
”Will amply reward patience with startling revelations formed through variations of viewpoint: 4 stars’ The Book Bag
‘A complex and moving portrait of love and sacrifice’ Book Oxygen
Views from Book Oxygen Inner Circle members:
‘It had lots of elements of Tatiana De Rosnay’s novel,Sarah’s Key, in the way that events in the past affected the lives of those in the present … The plot was cleverly constructed and I loved the way that all the separate pieces of the puzzle came together in the end for one last revelation’
‘I loved the way the story was delivered, with information gradually emerging and the various perspectives filling in the gaps … This is one of several books that I have now read from Gallic and I really think that they are delivering some wonderful and especially innovative voices and novels that distinguish them in the market.’
Bonus Material
Hélène Grémillon on her debut novel
Hélène Grémillon Q&A
Hélène Grémillon

Meet the author

Hélène Grémillon worked in advertising and journalism before becoming a writer. Born in France, she currently lives in Paris with her family. The Confidant is her first novel and has been translated from the original French into 24 languages. Hélène Grémillon Q&A

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