The Art of Regret
by Mary Fleming
Pub Date 22 Oct 2019
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Trevor McFarquhar lives a controlled, contrary existence. Traumatized by early childhood loss, the silence surrounding those losses, and then a sudden family relocation from the United States to France, he has no ambitions or dreams for his struggling Parisian bicycle shop or even for himself. Now in his late thirties, his romantic relationships are only casual—his friendships, few. He’s both aloof and exacting, holding everyone to his own high standards while being unforgiving of their faults.
But then two things happen. The 1995 transit strike forces Parisians through Trevor’s shop door to procure bicycles, and his once-sluggish business suddenly turns around. To his surprise, he is pleased. At the same time, Trevor enters into a relationship that threatens to destroy his relationship with his entire family. Humbled and ashamed, his veneer cracks, and he emerges from his cocoon a different man, ready to reconnect, to rediscover possibility, and ultimately to redeem himself.
A Note From the Publisher
"Readers of THE ART OF REGRET will have the double pleasures of walking through the ‘real' Paris with an inside guide to its backstreets, little cafés and domestic interiors; and of the dramatic story that plays out in the American-French family of Trevor McFarquhar, the photographer and bicycle-shop man. Mary Fleming perfectly captures, with a discerning eye and an elegiac tone that somehow reminds of Galsworthy, the details, the slight disorientation, and the superior cultivation of Americans long-time resident in France.” —Diane Johnson, author of LE DIVORCE, LE MARIAGE and L’AFFAIRE
PRAISE FOR SOMEONE ELSE, a novel by Mary Fleming
“A gripping Paris coming of age story, not the usual trite tale of young would be artists groping in their wistful way into mostly wishful futures, this is rather the struggle to maturity of a grown woman who is forced to come to terms with a past which terribly reveals itself and puts the life she has made, as the American wife of a well to do Frenchman, and her own most intimate vision of herself at risk….remarkable and heartening.” —C.K. Williams, poet and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle
“Someone Else keeps the reader enthralled and entertained, hoping for the best while fascinated by the consequences of a terrible mistake.” —Laura Furman, author of The Mother Who Stayed and series editor of The O. Henry Prize Stories.
“Written in a distinctive and luminous style, "Someone Else" is both a meditation on and an evocative portrait of how past events affect and destroy a seemingly perfect marriage and how the consequences will forever alter the lives of the characters -- for ultimately, perhaps, more mindful and authentic ones.” —Lily Tuck, novelist, winner of the 2004 National Book Award
“…gripping….After reading Someone Else, no one will feel their secrets are safe. ” —Alan Riding, author of And The Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris. (also former European Cultural Editor for The New York Times)