Foreword Reviews

The Travels of Daniel Ascher

When Hélène Chambon, great-niece of author Daniel Roche, pen name H. R. Sanders, moves to Paris to study archeology, she encounters a mystery much more engrossing than her studies—one that not only involves her enigmatic, eccentric, world-traveling relative, but that threatens to shake all she believes about herself as well.

Hélène has always been embarrassed by her great-uncle’s wildly elaborate descriptions of his adventures. Although she has never read his Black Insignia adventure series, the devotion with which her friend Guillaume, a fellow archeology student, regards the books and their reclusive author arouses her curiosity. Following clues that include fake postmarks and a hidden room, Hélène learns of Paris’s dark underworld during the time of the Occupation, family secrets, and the power of stories to make us whole.

Lévy-Bertherat’s first novel is the haunting, powerful story of a mysterious man and the identities he assumes to deal with the losses and trauma of war, but it is equally about a girl who grows from a self-absorbed teen into a young woman whose inner world expands to include compassion for the pain and suffering of others.

Déborah Lévy-Bertherat teaches comparative literature at the École Normale Supérieur in Paris and has translated works by Lermontov and Gogol.

Adriana Hunter is the award-winning British translator of more than fifty French novels and a contributor to the international magazine Words Without Borders.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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