I Love You Too Much
In the sixth arrondissement, thirteen-year-old Paul is adrift in a sea of wealth, pretence and an obsession with status. Struggling with a self-absorbed mother who doesn’t pay him any attention and her new boyfriend Gabriel who is chasing his dream of becoming a rockstar, all while trying to form a connection with his own narcissistic father, Paul is desperate to be loved. Always overlooked, it is only a matter of time before he sees something he isn’t supposed to see . . .
Longing for connection, Paul comforts himself with the beauty of Paris – gorging on its sweet confections and elegant patisseries – and in an unlikely friendship with his rebellious classmate, Scarlett.
A moving story set in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake is told with humour, grace and unflinching honesty.
I Love You Too Much is an emotional tale of love, loss and discovery. I adored Alicia Drake’s writing; such a beautiful, melodic voice that brings her descriptions of Paris to life. With exquisite detail, unflinching emotion in her characters and a portrait of what trouble truly lies beneath perfection, this is a riveting book that I highly recommend.
Paul is a young boy living with his mother in the sixth arrondissement in Paris. His life is lonely and his world is small. With no friends to assuage his concerns, lend a listening ear or fill the seat beside him at school, he trudges through the days with no love or friendship forthcoming and no imminent change awaiting him. That is until his mother and father separate, then his own fragile existence is heaped with fear and guilt of it all being his fault.
Soon Severińe finds a new partner, an aspiring rock star intent on having his time in the spotlight, and falls pregnant. Baby Lou is born and suddenly Paul feels jousted from his mother’s gaze, what little time she has now is for the baby, not for him. And there is no comfort to be found from his father, Philippe, who monitors the time they share and who is more interested in improving his fitness regime and toned physique. Both parents strive for beauty and perfection in the face of theirs son’s yearning for love. But nothing awaits him. The only comfort he can cling to is from his mother’s helper, Cindy.
Soon a change comes again for Paul. On a relaxing break with his family, he meets Scarlet, a wild, rebellious girl from his school. Seen but never spoken, they strike an unlikely bond over their stay. They find in each other something both have always wanted and always missed. Friendship. Finally Paul is no longer alone. But when he returns home and witnesses something life-changing, even Scarlet might not be able to help him. To heal him.
Brimming with intelligence, raw emotion and insight, I Love You Too Much is a gloriously powerful tale that follows a young boy’s coming of age and a lonely march into manhood.
Raw. Emotional. Powerful.
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About Alicia Drake
Alicia Drake is a writer. She studied at Cambridge, and she recently returned to the United Kingdom after residing and working in Paris for the past eighteen years. I Love You Too Much is her first novel.
Huge thanks to Anna Pallai and Picador for my review copy!