Felix was rejected as a child by his mother and those scars never fully heal.
In a book with great emotional depth, Honore de Balzac explores Felix' two major adult relationships with women through the form of a single letter.
With the beautiful, but married, Madame Mortsauf, maternal love grows into a passion — but never crosses into physical infidelity. As the years pass by, Felix falls for sensuous Englishwoman Lady Arabelle.
Torn between “the wife of the spirit” and “the mistress of the flesh”, he becomes the laughing stock of the French Court. How will he untie his emotional knot without causing emotional damage to the two women?
The insights and descriptions are exquisite — and there is an unexpected twist at the end.
'The Lily of the Valley' is perfect reading for fans of other books featuring a love triangle, including Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone With the Wind' and Emily Brontë's 'Wuthering Heights'.
Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) was a French novelist and playwright, most famous for a sequence of novels, collectively called 'The Human Comedy'. His signature style was a warts-and-all representation of post-Napoleonic French life, rich in detail and featuring complex, unfiltered characters.
The style means Balzac is regarded as one of the pioneers of European literary realism. He is named as an influence on writers including Emile Zola, Henry James, Charles Dickens, and Gustave Flaubert.
The first novel he published under his own name was 'Les Chouans' in 1829. In 1834 he hit upon the idea of grouping his novels together to record all of society. The result, over a period of years, was 'The Human Comedy', which comprised three categories: 'Analytic Studies'; 'Philosophical Studies'; and 'Studies of Manners'.