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The Wide World

On sale

6th July 2023

Price: £25

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472292100

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ONE OF THE TIMES‘ FAVOURITE NOVELS OF 2023

The Wide World is one of his best . . . Compellingly plotted, stuffed with great characters, thought-provokingly situated in history – honestly, what else do you want from a novel?’ The Times

‘Literature with conviction; a furious talent’ L’Obs

The first volume of THE GLORIOUS YEARS series, translated by Frank Wynne

Beirut, 1948. The Pelletier family returns…

‘Over the years, the annual Pelletier family pilgrimage down the avenue des Français
had known many variations, but never before had it taken on the air of a funeral cortège…’


The Pelletiers are a hugely prominent French family living in Beirut. Louis Pelletier has spent years building his soap business, dominating the manufacturing market. Now, he wants to pass on the leadership, but choosing which son to takeover from him is proving challenging.

Jean, the eldest, has no such acumen for managing the enterprise and seems a hopeless and weak option. His wife, though, has superior ambitions, and eager to flee the familial bonds for other reasons, Jean agrees to an escape to France.

Etienne Pelletier, younger and a gentle soul, is trained in accounts, and leaves home for Saigon to find love. There, he uncovers a well-established scheme to channel smuggled goods and cash to the Viet Minh. It is dangerous evidence that presents a real threat not only to officials in high places, but to his own life.

François, the middle Pelletier brother, persuades his father to let him travel to Paris, where he becomes a journalist. His career flies when he reports on the brutal murder of an actress, and realises a serial killer is on the loose, one who may be closer than anyone realises.

‘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

‘Pierre Lemaitre skilfully captivates and stuns the reader’ Le Figaro

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Reviews

Le Figaro Litteraire
Pierre Lemaitre skilfully captivates and stuns the reader
Le Figaro
Storytelling with never a dull moment
Sunday Times
You have the ingredients Balzac would have cooked with...and it is exactly those 19th century novels that Lemaitre will remind you of
The Times
The Wide World is one of his best . . . Compellingly plotted, stuffed with great characters, thought-provokingly situated in history
Financial Times
Lemaitre casts his net wide, skilfully contrasting the vibrancy, exoticism and dangerous excitement of Saigon and Beirut in the years after the second world war with the drab, careworn city that Paris has become