The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of Falling Through the Earth and Angelology returns with this much-anticipated memoir of love and transformation in France. The Fortress is Peter Mayle meets Eat, Pray, Love , a gorgeously written account of one woman's journey to the other side of the romantic fairytale.Read more...
The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of Falling Through the Earth and Angelology returns with this much-anticipated memoir of love and transformation in France. The Fortress is Peter Mayle meets Eat, Pray, Love, a gorgeously written account of one woman's journey to the other side of the romantic fairytale.
"If I had been another woman, I might have been skeptical. But I wasn't another woman. I was a woman ready to be swept away. I was a woman ready for her story to begin. As a writer, story was all that mattered. Rising action, dramatic complication, heroes and villains and dark plots. I believed I was the author of my life, that I controlled the narration."
From their first kiss, twenty-seven-year-old writer Danielle Trussoni is spellbound by a novelist from Bulgaria. The two share a love of jazz and books and travel, passions that intensify their whirlwind romance.
Eight years later, hopeful to renew their marriage, Danielle and her husband move to the south of France, to a picturesque medieval village in the Languedoc. It is here, in a haunted stone fortress built by the Knights Templar, that she comes to understand the dark, subterranean forces that have been following her all along.
While Danielle and her husband eventually part, Danielle's time in the fortress brings precious wisdom about life and love that she could not have learned otherwise. Ultimately, she finds the strength to overcome her illusions, and start again.
An incisive look at romantic love, The Fortress is one woman's fight to understand the complexities of her own heart, told by one of the best writers of her generation.
- ISBN-13: 9780062459008
- ISBN-10: 0062459007
- Publisher: Dey Street Books
- Publish Date: September 2016
- Page Count: 336
- Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-18
- Reviewer: Staff
At one point in this memoir, Trussoni (Falling Through the Earth) finds herself pregnant and on extended bed rest in a hospital in Bulgaria, speaking no Bulgarian. Filled with incidents like this, Trussoni’s is a memoirist’s dream life, ripe for storytelling, and she’s an expert at it. As the story begins, she is a single mother dating a Bulgarian author on a visa visit to the U.S. He is sensitive, brilliant, and appealingly eccentric; he is also duplicitous, but she doesn’t like thinking about that. His visa expires and he sells her on the romance of a quick trip to Bulgaria to get it renewed; the visa requires, he fails to mention, that he stay in Bulgaria for two years. Startled, but still game, she marries him and has a daughter. More deceptions follow, and in an unconventional bid to save her failing marriage, she moves the family to a medieval fortress in a French village. Her husband becomes unbalanced, installing locks on the interior doors of their house and carving Tibetan symbols for death on his office door, yet he accuses her of suffering from mental illness. His gall draws her into a gutter fight to extract herself and her children. It’s a powerful story, and she has the fortitude and the judgment to do it justice. (Sept.)
A marriage's dark demise inside a cursed castle
Written with the taut urgency of a thriller, Danielle Trussoni’s memoir of the disintegration of her marriage is flat-out terrifying. Author of the bestselling novels Angelology and Angelopolis, as well as an award-winning memoir about her Vietnam-vet father, Trussoni turns her unique gaze in The Fortress to the dark heart of romance. Only she could write a memoir about a failed marriage that also includes black magic, Communist Bulgaria, the Knights Templar, ghosts and Provence.
When Trussoni meets Nikolai at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, the passion is intense, immediate and transformative. Soon the smoldering Bulgarian on a limited student visa is living in her apartment, eating her food and telling her that they have spent lifetimes looking for each other. He must be with her—which is why she ends up moving to Bulgaria with him when his visa expires. That, and the fact that she’s pregnant. Ignoring the persistent red flags in Nikolai’s behavior, she finds herself living in Eastern Europe for two years and giving birth in a stark Communist-era hospital.
The relationship is good until it isn’t, but a major contributing factor is Nikolai’s volatile mental state. After selling her first novel, Trussoni moves the family to the South of France into a 13th-century fortress used by the Knights Templar. Her depiction of the psychological terrors of Nikolai’s unraveling mind set against the occult history of their remote castle is reminiscent of The Shining, down to the ghostly apparitions and nightmares they each suffer. By the time Trussoni discovers the Tibetan death threats Nikolai has carved into a doorframe, her fear is palpable and the suspense unrelenting.
While The Fortress reads like a horror novel, its raw power comes from the hard-won emotional clarity Trussoni brings to her own role in the creation and dissolution of this marriage from hell.