Le Mariage is a sparkling new novel—a comedy of manners from the author of Le Divorce, an acclaimed national bestseller and 1997 National Book Award finalist.
Many have compared Diane Johnson to such great literary figures as Jane Austen, Henry James, Edith Wharton, and F. Scott Fitzgerald—all expatriate writers who in one way or another contributed to the development of the “international novel.” Johnson puts a contemporary twist on this venerable form with her keen-eye portraits of modern-day Americans living abroad.
In Le Mariage, as in Le Divorce, she masterly portrays Paris—its outward splendor and its secret inner workings. Le Mariage introduces a proper young French woman engaged to a struggling American journalist hot on the trail of a breaking story: the theft of a valuable illuminated manuscript from a collection in New York, which rumor has it may have found its surreptitious way into the hands of a reclusive film director living on the outskirts of Paris. The director’s wife, an American beauty and former actress, enters a Kafkaesque nightmare as she finds herself wrongly accused of desecrating a national monument. Johnson’s clever plot and delightful characters are to be savored, but Le Mariage also offers brilliant insights into relationships between men and women; marriage and morality as it is perceived on both sides of the Atlantic; and the chaos that ensues when well-off, well-meaning people attempt to give something back to an imperfect world that has been so unaccountably good to them. Le Mariage is Diane Johnson at her very best.