When Ange St Loup is brought unconscious to the madhouse of the Amaranth, she is outlandishly dressed, covered with scorches from the building she burned and bruises from jumping out one of its windows, and her mouth is sewn shut. And that is all she knows. Even as her memory returns to her, and she begins to piece together the puzzle of her life as an actress in the theatre Lady Minerva, every answer only raises further questions, and at the heart of them remain the ones she has no answers for. Answers that might explain what she was doing in an alley, by night, outside a burning building, with her face mutilated and her mind in tatters. Which version of the story is the truth? Is it Ange's own, despite the amnesia that only gives back her past in fragments? Is it the madhouse warders', which paints Ange as a murderer, or the prioress's, which paints her as insane? Is it the one that returns to Ange piecemeal, over time, growing only more sinister as it inches toward completion? Or is the truth something more complex, more dangerous, than anything that Ange can even grasp?
Used availability for Nicole Kornher-Stace's Desideria
December 2008 : USA Paperback