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Author: Ken Grimwood
Publisher: Doubleday, 1979

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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
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Elise is a sweeping, cinematically paced suspense story that follows its heroine through the passions and terrors of mankind's most elusive dream: physical immortality.

Elise Travers is a beautiful and sophisticated Boston hostess, whose husband, Patrick, is a wealthy young entrepreneur; but this widely envied couple is bound by one dark secret; their knowledge that, unless a medical miracle can somehow be arranged, Patrick will gradually age and die, while his wife will remain eternally young. For Elise's life began three centuries before, at the palace of Versailles during Louis XIV's reign; and now, for the first time, she is willing to risk everything so that she might share her lonely gift of perpetual youth with the man she loves. But not even she can imagine the terrible dangers that this quest entails, dangers both to herself and to the world at large.

Elise is both a chilling contemporary tale of suspense and a rich historical drama that ranges from the Russia of Peter the Great to a slave uprising in old French San Domingo to a plush New Orleans brothel shortly after the War of 1812. In addition to featuring the most unusual female character in recent years, this novel offers a fascinating exploration of humanity's most fervent desire - the urge for immortality - and reveals an unexpectedly horrifying side of that bright aspiration.


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