Anne Marsella

Published: 23 May 2008
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 352 pages
ISBN: 9781846270925


Meet Remedy: a young, single American living on the rive gauche and toiling at an on-line fashion magazine. She may have her feet on well-trodden expat ground, but she has her head in the clouds and the path she walks through Paris is distinctly original. When she's not dreaming up articles about this season's must-have accessory or foiling her best friend's attempts at match-making, she attends mass with a blind nun, shimmies her way through belly-dancing classes and meditates on the lives of the saints. All the while, believing that spiritual enlightenment and romantic fulfilment might be just around the corner ...

About the author

Image of Anne Marsella

Originally from California's San Joaquin Valley, Anne Marsella now lives in Paris with her husband, a jazz musician, and their son.Her previous books are an acclaimed collection of stories, The Lost and Found and Other Stories (NYU Press), Patsy Boone (Editions de la Difference) and Remedy (Portobello, 2007). More about the author


‘An idiosyncratic, deliberate character, Remedy lives at the intersection of an immigrant's vivid Paris and her own internal world, she turns what could be a cloying tale into something much stranger - and more charming.’



‘Marsella not only breathes life into the tired, old singleton genre but paints a vibrant portrait of Paris via the cultures of its immigrants’

‘The 32-year-old heroine of Anne Marsella's debut novel is single American Remedy O'Riley de Valdez. Living in Paris and working on a fashion website, Remedy attends daily mass, and the plot of this 'Mother Mary Wears Prada' is largely predictable, but the quality of Marsella's writing raises her chic lit above the usual lovelorn-in-Paris fluff. Remedy's office is filled with skinny fashionistas who remind her of spoons. Characters litter Remedy's life like a little girl's teddy bears arranged around her bed: her widowed Mumly, her pet dog Yorik, her spiritual guardian Sister Dagobert, and Mouktar the pizza delivery boy. But who will heal Remedy's heart after her dastardly ex, Johannes von Krysler, leaves her with nothing more than a fake telephone number and a snazzy espresso-maker?’

‘The concept is familiar: a lonely romantic is on a quest to find the man of her dreams and has several unsuitable suitors before finding Prince Charming. But the originality of the writing makes the plot irrelevant. What's especially appealing here is the access given to the inner voice of such an unusual heroine. The traditions of Catholicism (along with the teachings of Islam and the joy of Arabian belly-dancing) are cleverly woven into the story; Remedy addresses her thoughts on love and life to a different Catholic saint each day and each chapter begins with a potted history of their lives. The result is a delightful sort of hagiographer's Bridget Jones.’

‘The heroine is named Remedy, so it's fair to assume that her company is supposed to be a tonic. An American fashion hack in Paris, she lives in the heart of the quartier cliché, surrounded by colourful characters. There's a lot of whimsy - but Remedy is irresistible. When not working, she attends Mass with her friend, the blind nun, meditates on the lives of the saints and waits for love. Her romances are the funniest parts of a strangely pleasing novel.’

‘This debut novel is one of the most quirky to have hit the shelves for years - and certainly boasts one of the most unusual and entertaining heroines’ Alex Clark, 'Must-Read'

Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts