Life on the Line
La Vie sur le fil
The story begins with three apparently unconnected characters: Marc, a young man who, on the death of his mother, leaves Paris to move into a caravan in the depths of the Drôme region of France; Gabriel, a photographer producing a photo reportage on the mythical necropolis of Abydos in the Egyptian desert; and then there’s Eva… a loner with an unusual calling. Somewhere between sculpture and archeological research, she reconstructs missing persons from thousands of years ago, restoring bodies and giving faces to those from the Australopithecus to barbarian kings. This time, it is a mysterious Gallo-Roman princess who awaits her in her lab. But Eva struggles to sculpt her face. Because Eva’s life is on hold. She lives ever wary of the enemy within: cancer. One day, seated at a café terrace after leaving the hospital, she’s intrigued by an odd sound: the insistent ring from a telephone booth. It keeps ringing. At last, she picks up the phone—a move that will change not just her life, but Gabriel and Marc’s as well. Months later, Eva begins the patient work of reconstructing the facts in an attempt to understand how the threads of their lives became entwined. Just as with the defunct of ancient Egypt, she achieves a journey from obscurity toward enlightenment.
In a reserved yet life-affirming novel, along with her characters, fragment by fragment Aline Kiner reconstructs the personal face of our most intimate fears and the motivating forces of our lives.
Aline Kiner grew up in in the Moselle region of France and today lives in Paris where she is editor-in-chief of special issues of Sciences et Avenir. She has also published with Liana Levi The Hangman’s Game, a crime thriller awarded the Interpol’Art and Georges Sadler award (2011) and published in Germany by Ullstein.
«A finely honed reflection on time and death.» Le Nouvel Observateur
«More metaphysical than dark, this moving novel reads like an investigation.» Le Monde
«A rich novel executed at a brisk pace.» Page des libraires
«A universal theme that interweaves different timescales in a moving quest for the self.» La Semaine
«A novel that’s a tapestry of mysteries.» Le Républicain Lorrain