Laura Wilmote is a television journalist living in Paris. Her life couldn’t be better—a stimulating job, a loving boyfriend, interesting friends—until her phone rings in the middle of one night. It is C., an old school friend whom Laura recently helped find a job at the same television station: “My phone rang. I knew right away it was you.”
Thus begins the story of C.’s unrelenting, obsessive, incurable love/hatred of Laura. She is convinced that Laura shares her love, but cannot—or will not—admit it. C. begins to dress as Laura, to make her friends and family her own, and even succeeds in working alongside Laura on the unique program that is Laura’s signature achievement. The obsession escalates, yet is artfully hidden. It is Laura who is perceived as the aggressor at work, Laura who appears unwell, Laura who is losing it. Even Laura’s adoring boyfriend begins to question her. Laura seeks the counsel of a psychiatrist who diagnoses C. with De Clérambault syndrome—she is convinced that Laura is in love with her. And worse, the syndrome can only end in one of two ways: the death of the patient, or that of the object of the obsession.
A Cage in Search of a Bird is the gripping story of two women caught in the vise of a terrible delusion. Florence Noiville brilliantly narrates this story of obsession and one woman’s attempts to escape the irrational love of another—an inescapable, never-ending love, a love that can only end badly.
About the Author
Florence Noiville is an author, journalist, staff writer for Le Monde, and editor of foreign fiction for Le Monde des Livres, the paper’s literary supplement. She is the author of several books for children, a biography of the Nobel Prize Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, a partly autobiographical essay, and three novels. Noiville lives in Paris.
Teresa Lavender Fagan is a freelance translator living in Chicago; she has translated numerous books for the University of Chicago Press and other publishers.
“Noiville’s Hitchcock-style psychological thriller will satisfy even the most ardent suspense fan. . . . Those looking for a gripping read will not be disappointed.”
“What is revealed in A Cage in Search of a Bird by Noiville, is the presence—as strong as it is inexplicable—of love in hatred. One must love greatly to make another suffer.”
“By reviving de Clérambault’s syndrome and showing how it can lead to treacherous consequences, Noiville focuses on intricate emotions to which novelists have paid less attention. The final pages are worthy of a thriller: the plot intensifies as amorous attraction vies with amorous resentment. Both feelings coexist and collide, to the point that murder and suicide become possibilities.”
“A fascinating, thrilling diversion.”
“Look into the mirror, you might not recognize what you see. Watch someone else gaze into the exact same mirror, you might just see yourself. Noiville tackles issues of identity and belonging like few other novelists. A Cage in Search of a Bird is smart, suspenseful, and powerful.”
“Noiville immerses readers in Laura’s dreadful situation right from the start. . . . A Cage in Search of a Bird is at its best when it charges ahead in the present. . . . It makes for a quick, solid little personal thriller.”
“A Cage in Search of a Bird is an engrossing psychological thriller that examines the emotional depths of obsession. The book is gripping as it explores the relationship between two friends who become tortured by each other’s presence. Throughout the compelling novel, the question of who is the bird and who is the cage is present in every suspenseful detail. . . . Noiville’s novel is a sharp, taut thriller, both thought-provoking and terrifying.”