Where are the bounds of privacy, and what does it mean to respect privacy in the face of art making? A young film student asks just this question in Kristen Fouquet’s novella Surreptitiously Yours. In a book where noir meets literary, meets poetry, Surreptitiously Yours also delves into deeper themes of truth, love and the limits of art.
Claudette’s thesis for her film degree revolves around the idea of surreptitiously filming people in public so that they are in their most authentic state of being. Her argument is that her subjects are a greater representation of truth because they don’t know that they are being filmed and are thereby not moved to act, speak, or behave in any one certain way. Claudette’s thesis, already controversial in itself, spirals to encompass a whirlwind of murder, subjugation, and the absolute perversion of privacy. But is it all in the name of truth?
At what point does the very validity of truth come into question because of the means by which it was obtained? In tandem, at what point does truth become subverted and manipulated by the person filming because of his or her own biases, beliefs, or desires? Claudette is forced to ask herself these questions about her own work once she becomes the victim of a classmate’s perverse film project herself based on a twisted version of her own idea.
Fouquet does an amazing job of keeping her readers on the edge of their seats as she winds through scene after scene of action while also developing her characters into rich, believable people in just under 125 pages. Every time the reader thinks she knows what is coming next, Fouquet flips the story on its head and sends it reeling in another direction.
A book so artfully composed and beautifully constructed, Surreptitiously Yours is as vivid as any film could ever hope to be.
Surreptitiously Yours was published in March of 2016 by Le Salon Press and can be purchased from Fouquet’s website. Watch the trailer for Surreptitiously Yours if you want to catch a glimpse of what is in store for you as a reader.
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FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me in return for a fair and honest review of the text.