Set in the heart of Left-Bank Paris, this is the story of Paul, a lonely, quiet boy who makes an astonishing discovery and confronts that brutal turning point in adolescence when he learns he must leave the privileges of naivety behind. Thirteen-year-old Paul is a lovable but unloved boy on the vulnerable cusp of manhood. Paul lives in Paris, in a world of privilege where beauty dominates, adults are intent on their own satisfaction, and everything looks perfect. There’s nowhere to get dirty, or so it appears. His mother is glamorous and powerful, distracted by a younger lover and her own fear of aging. His wealthy father is desperately seeking to assuage his endless discontent. Paul lives between the two apartments of his broken family, looked after by a Filipino babysitter who hasn’t seen her own children in years. When Paul meets Scarlett, a beguiling classmate, he uncovers the cruel gulf between the world as it is and how he imagined it to be. It’s only a matter of time before Paul witnesses a shocking event and inherits a burden he’s far too young to shoulder. A dazzling coming-of-age story, I Love You Too Much is a devastating literary debut born from the saying, Je t’aime trop a distinctly French expression of excessive love. In a world of abundance, a Paris where parents don’t always mean what they say, Paul must look beyond his glamorous home to find a love that’s real.
“Alicia Drake’s beautifully written tale of an adolescent French boy adrift between divorced, narcissistic parents feels like the enfant naturel of Henry James’s What Maisie Knew and Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home. Her depiction of contemporary well-heeled Parisian life is so spot on, you might be in the sixth arrondissement watching kids spill out of school, lighting their cigarettes and lining up to buy pain au chocolat at the corner boulangerie. I couldn’t put it down.” —Anne Korkeakivi, author of Shining Sea
“A timely look at the carnage caused by parental narcissism. Funny, waspish, astute, l Love You Too Much is a heart breaking tale from the tubby sidelines of Parisian perfection.”—Denise Mina, author of The Long Drop
“I Love You Too Much is an atmospheric deep dive into longing, betrayal, and the shattered illusions of youth. Alicia Drake’s Paris is haunting, and her writing soars.” —Charlotte Rogan, author of Now and Again
: “In her compelling fiction debut, Drake, a formerly longtime Paris resident… crafts Paul’s hometown with a true insider’s care, and she believably narrates as a boy resisting the confining forces of his self-involved parents’ narrow paths and stingily shared love for him.” —Booklist
“Not often do you come across a protagonist who you want to hug and shield from the world. Drake creates a character who is sure to bring out the maternal instinct in every reader.” —Janice MacLeod, author of the New York Times bestseller Paris Letters