Erotic tale of competition between mother and daughter

French Girl with Mother: A Novel - Norman Ollestad

Nathan is a struggling artist who is able to paint a technically perfect reproduction of other artists’ work but he’s been unable to find the emotional element needed to create masterpieces of his own. Then he meets a young uninhibited French girl, Anais, who may be just the muse that he needs.  He feels there’s a dangerous element to a relationship with Anais but he can’t resist the pull to sketch her so he accepts her invitation to stay at her parents’ home.  Upon meeting and getting to know her parents, he’s drawn into a web of sexual competition and illegal acts.


I thought the first half of this book was so beautifully written. The author does an excellent job of letting the reader experience the acceleration of menace behind this dysfunctional family and concern for Nathan as he gets more and more deeply involved.  While I can’t say that I really liked any of the characters very much, even Nathan, I had to keep reading to see where it would all go.  I feel that the book loses some of its raw beauty in the second half of the book, which degenerates a bit into an art forgery thriller, though there is still the desire to know whether Nathan will choose love of his art or his love of Anais. 


This book was given to me by the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.