The Wide World
by Pierre Lemaitre
Books > Fiction
An epic novel of family fortune, twisted secrets and love
ONE OF THE TIMES‘ FAVOURITE NOVELS OF 2023
The first epic novel in THE GLORIOUS YEARS series from the two times winner of the prestigious Prix-Goncourt
‘You have the ingredients Balzac would have cooked with. And it is exactly those great 19th century novels that Lemaitre will remind you of’ Sunday Times
The Pelletiers are a prominent French family living in Beirut, dominated by Louis, who has built a hugely successful business manufacturing artisanal soaps. Louis has three sons, but none seems to have the aptitude for commerce he desires.
There’s Jean, the eldest, a feckless man who is both lazy and weak. When his ambitious wife suggests a move to France, he jumps at the chance for escape – for Jean has a secret that no-one must ever uncover.
Etienne is the youngest son, who travels to Saigon looking for love, and there uncovers financial corruption and violence linked to the very highest officials – evidence that presents a real threat to his own life.
François, the middle Pelletier brother, leaves for Paris and becomes a journalist. When he reports a shocking and brutal murder, he realises he’s uncovered the work of a dangerous serial killer, one who may be very close to home.
Absorbing, colourful and rich with no-holds-barred detail, THE WIDE WORLD is a terrific novel of greed, blackmail, and shocking crime.
‘Literature with conviction; a furious talent’ L’Obs