Unwilling to risk their own lives, they send the brothers. And so begins what Lucien hopes will be an adventure that allows him to spend time with the brother he idolises. The brothers’ relationship is exquisitely drawn, with Emile’s inarticulate, paternal worry and love for Lucien contrasting with Lucien’s need for admiration and love from Emile. Much of the beauty in the book comes from the relationships between the brothers, and between the slaves as a family they construct for themselves under ‘grandparents’ Angelique and Chevallier.
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