One Hour of Fervor | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, February 29th, 2024  

Muriel Barbery

One Hour of Fervor

Published by Europa Editions

Feb 05, 2024 Bookmark and Share

Haru is an art dealer in Japan who, in his entertaining of women, has a child with a French woman named Maud. Haru does not find this out until Maud has moved back to France and she tells him, with the provision that should he try to contact her or their daughter, she will kill herself.

Thus sets Haru on a journey of discovery. He enlists a private eye to maintain contact with his estranged family and send pictures back to Japan. He obsesses over the growth of his daughter and longs for a day when he might be able to see her without reprisal.

Meanwhile, Haru’s life at home continues unabated. Women come and go. He finds solace in long friendships. Death visits his life more than once. He carries on.

In this beautifully written novel, translated from the French and filled with wondrous image-filled prose, themes are explored of love, of longing, of life, death, and what it means to continue on. [Incidentally, the book is something of a prequel to Barbery’s 2022 novel, A Single Rose.] Barbery paints pictures with her words, and symbolism is found in an oft-told tale about a fox. Through it and through One Hour of Fervor, we learn about grief, beauty, sacrifice, and ultimately acceptance. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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