Mazarine

mazarine-cover"Grimshaw's focus is always on the psychology of her characters and the societies they inhabit.... Grimshaw goes much further than simply dissecting an unreliable narrator. By various cunnning strategies, she raises the whole question of how well we can really know other people, and how much our perceptions of them are simply so many 'fictions.'" - Sunday Star-Times

From award-winning author Charlotte Grimshaw, this is a beautifully evocative, sensual portrayal of a woman's search for freedom and love.

When her daughter vanishes during a heatwave in Europe, writer Frances Sinclair embarks on a hunt that takes her across continents and into her own past. What clues can Frances find in her own history, and who is the mysterious Mazarine? Following the narrative thread left by her daughter, she travels through cities touched by terrorism and surveillance, where ways of relating are subtly changed, and a startling new fiction seems to be constructing itself.

 

" Despite its mystery story structure, Mazarine is more a character study, a commentary on the way identity is constructed and a critique of the art of writing fiction itself. It is however, the thread of the mystery story that will probably keep most readers turning the pages."  - Reid's Reader

 

"Grimshaw's novels always deliver tension, intrigue, drama. Her stories are contemporary...and packed with plot. Serious doesn't mean po-faced though. Mazarine bristles with life and is full of sensations, humour, rippling interchanges and sudden poetry...It comments on society, not gauchely, but in passing glances and subtle asides. Grimshaw cares about the world we live in and asks us to care, too."  - The New Zealand Listener

 

"Reading Charlotte Grimshaw is always a huge delight, sinking as she does into a place of implication, indirectness and suggestions of the sinister. With her multiple storylines and layers, as well as the intensity and paranoia of her characters, Grimshaw's work often strays near David Lynch-type territory.... Mazarine ups the psychological layers of content into an extremely confusing place, where characters and their motivations are contradictory, unsure and yet persistent.... Doctorow's epigraph staes that every time a writer composes a book, their composition of themselves is at stake... Grimshaw is always unnerving as she digs into what it might be to lose someone else, or even to lose oneself. " - The Otago Daily Times

 

"At once domestic drama, psychological thriller - underscored with a buzzing note of menace about global terrorism and the surveillance state - and a sort of sensual coming-of-age tale, Grimshaw picks and chooses which tropes from each style to use and which to let lie. It's a brilliant and disconcerting strategy....The story is always fleshed out by Grimshaw's sensory and finely detailed sketches of people and place....whether her writing is prophetic or she's just really quick on the draw at spinning it into her novels, the parallels between the politics of her characters' personal lives and the politics playing out on a global scale is where Grimshaw's genius lies. There is much justified love for the New Zealand political satire of her earlier novels, along with their familiar cast of recurring characters, but by flinging Mazarine's cast onto the world stage, she forces them into confrontation with our current preoccupations: tyrants around the dinner table and in parliament, fake news inside our heads and out - trying to figure out who we should be in a world where truth and reality seem less certain than ever before. "  - Charlotte Graham-McLay The Spinoff

 

"There's an air of ambiguous menace right from the start of Mazarine. More worrying than the chance encounter, Frances's daughter, Maya, travelling on the other side of the globe, has lost contact with her mother. The increasingly lengthy silence becomes increasingly worrying for Frances... In her customary deft prose, Grimshaw unspools this dryly ironic tale of international connections and the threads that bind us all through the intimate labyrinth the world has become. The themes weave in and out of the action seamlessly..." - North & South