When Suzanne Malherbe meets Lucie Schwob it's practically love at first sight for the two young women. Their love surpasses two world wars, fascism, Nazis, and the intolerance of early 20th century societal norms. Moving to Paris, Lucie and Suzanne become Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore working to make a name for themselves in the art world. Soon they find themselves attending shows with the likes of Dali, befriending other avant garde artists, and moving in the Surrealists’ close knit circle. When Claude and Marcel decide to move to their home away from home in the Channel Islands because of the looming threat of Hitler, everything changes. Soon they are faced with Nazis occupying their picturesque island forcing the two women to rebel against this grotesque occupation. Rupert Thomson has created a stunning and intimate novel that makes you wonder if perhaps he traveled back in time to witness this extraordinary relationship.— Jen Steele
The true story of a love affair between two extraordinary women becomes a literary tour de force in this novel that recreates the surrealist movement in Paris and the horrors of the two world wars with a singular incandescence and intimacy
In the years preceding World War I, two young women meet, by chance, in a provincial town in France. Suzanne Malherbe, a shy seventeen-year-old with a talent for drawing, is completely entranced by the brilliant but troubled Lucie Schwob, who comes from a family of wealthy Jewish intellectuals. They embark on a clandestine love affair, terrified they will be discovered, but then, in an astonishing twist of fate, the mother of one marries the father of the other. As sisters they are finally free of suspicion, and, hungry for a more stimulating milieu, they move to Paris at a moment when art, literature, and politics blend in an explosive cocktail.
Having reinvented themselves as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, they move in the most glamorous social circles, meeting everyone from Hemingway and Dali to Andre Breton, and produce provocative photographs that still seem avant-garde today. In the 1930s, with the rise of anti-Semitism and threat of fascism, they leave Paris for Jersey, and it is on this idyllic island that they confront their destiny, creating a campaign of propaganda against Hitler's occupying forces that will put their lives in jeopardy.
Brilliantly imagined, profoundly thought-provoking, and ultimately heartbreaking, Never Anyone but You infuses life into a forgotten history as only great literature can.