Never Anyone But You
In Rupert Thompson’s latest novel he fictionalises the lives of two French women who meet when they are teenagers in the early part of the twentieth century. Lucie Schwob shuns the conventions of the time – playing around with her sexuality and gender – while Suzanne Malherbe has a talent for drawing and photography. The pair begin a clandestine affair which intensifies when they move to Paris. There they meet up with many of the movers and shakers of the Surrealist movement including head-honcho André Breton, the poet Robert Desnos (the title is taken from one of his works) and Salvador Dalí. This section doesn’t have a great deal of narrative pull, the pair jumping on an endless carousel of philosophising with the city’s many socialist butterflies, but things kick up a gear when they move to Jersey (“an Eden with two Eves”), only to find – a few years later – the island occupied by Nazis. Instead of fleeing however, they embark on a two-woman propaganda campaign. It’s a tale that lives long in the memory but what lingers most is an enduring love story that only deepens throughout the decades.