Catherine travels to France to write and to mourn her brother. Her lover Lola tells her she's now seeing someone else (briefly), and this sends Catherine into a depression. She sleeps indiscriminately with both women and men she encounters, acting out her detachment and self-destruction. She ends with Lucien, a man who's her equal in beauty, intelligence, and solitude. Their doomed affair must inevitably end, and each must regain their life back, hopefully before they destroy each other. Maso's style is lyrical and erotic, and is rooted in Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf. It's a novel of longing, of desire, of France, and of the world of writers. It also reminded me somewhat of Violette Leduc's work, where it's an honest, unflinching writing that does not shy away from personal pain. Quite electrifying.