First Fiction Friday: Pacifique

Is Pacifique too good to be true? It’s the question Sarah L. Taggart’s protagonist Tia has to ask of her romance with the title character in her debut novel Pacifique (Coach House Books), and one upon which this taut, literary psychological thriller rests. Read on to find out why you should add Pacifique to your TBR.


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Pacifique (Coach House Books, 2022)Who: Sarah L. Taggart is a queer writer with lived experience of madness and forced psychiatrization. She has published short fiction in The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, and Journey Prize Stories. Her short fiction won the Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction and was an honourable mention in The Fiddlehead’s annual fiction contest. She lives in Pito-one, near Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa New Zealand with her partner and their dog, Bagel, and is pursuing a PhD at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.Why You Need to Read this Book Now: When Tia meets Pacifique, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime love. They spend five wild days and nights together, and then Tia wakes up in an ambulance with a collarbone broken in a bike accident — and no trace of Pacifique. Unable to convince anyone that Pacifique exists, Tia winds up in a psychiatric ward, forced to face the possibility that this perfect lover may be a figment of her imagination. While there, Tia meets Andrew, a contemplative man with schizophrenia, who falls in love with Tia. He, too, tells her to forget Pacifique.Who to believe? The medical establishment and her fellow patients? Or her frail human memory? And if Pacifique truly is a figment, is life in the “real world” with Andrew enough?X + Y:Girl, Interrupted meets Rebecca in this taut tale of love and madness.

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