By the wide sands of Normandy a cluster of young girls wheel and play, riding their bicycles along the promenade their hair flying in the Channel winds. Among them is Albertine. A sickly boy watches, longing to posses some of the girls' vitality, their verve and beauty. For her part, Albertine envies his life, the Grand Hotel, the rich leisured friends, shopping on the Grands Boulevards. She makes her play, and wins. But eventually he will make Albertine his captive, trapping her in his airless Paris apartment and his suffocating, possessive love. And as she struggles with herself and her fate, the desire she feels is not for him but for others, her free, sensual women friends. In this powerfully atmospheric novel, Jacqueline Rose re-tells the story of Albertine from Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, from her point of view. But this remarkable retelling stands on its own. Cut free from the master's text, the woman's story carries us into a lush, dreamlike inner world, in which a drama of passion is played out on bodies and minds alike - suggestive and sexy, intriguing and provocative.