|Pages/Publication Date:||261 / 2014|
In 1905, a tourist agent and amateur antiques collector named Armand de Potter mysteriously disappears off the coast of Greece. His body is never recovered, and his wife Aimée is left to manage his affairs on her own. But as she starts to piece together his life, she realizes that everything was not as Armand had told her. The author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Manikin and the PEN/Faulkner Award finalists Various Antidotes and Arrogance, Joanna Scott infuses her tale with details from letters and diary entries, and twists forward and backward through time to reveal a lost world of fake identities, underground antiques networks, and a husband who wasn't what he seemed. Scott also points delicately toward the story's historical basis, and real documents only recently discovered, to unfold a detective tale of the highest order.
"A delicate, enchanting, utterly delicious text, melancholy at the heart and yet slyly funny. Scott is of course a fearlessly intelligent writer, and this book is surely one of her finest."—Louise Erdrich
"What a whirl of a book, full of secrets and surprises. I read De Potter's Grand Tour in a couple of days, losing myself in its pages, sorry to see the last words run like swift water under the bridge where I lingered, novel in hand. Joanna Scott is among the handful of American writers I will always want to read, and here she offers a capacious circumnavigation of a world tinged by melancholy, love, mystery, shimmering beauty, and unlikely passion. A lovely and strangely affecting read."—Jay Parini