Leetonia Community – Bay of Foxes

Kohler, Sheila. The Bay of Foxes. Penguin. Jun.2012. c.240p. ISBN 9780143121015. pap. $15. F

After killing a prison guard to escape internment for being an “aristocratic anarchist,” Dawit turns up in Paris, dirt poor and bedraggled. This beautiful son of a titled Ethiopian upper-class family charms M., a celebrated 60-year-old Parisian author, whom he accidentally meets in a café. M. adopts Dawit as her muse and asks him to live with her, spending a fortune on him and even taking him to her second home in Sardinia. Dawit develops new skills and becomes M.’s editor and secretary, but when he refuses to comply with her demands for sex—he is gay—she turns cold and distant and eventually asks him to leave. The novel climaxes in a scene of tense intrigue at the Bay of Foxes, M.’s favorite place to swim. 

VERDICT Writing in an elegant and sensual style, Kohler (Becoming Jane Eyre) creates a sensational novel whose audience will include—but will not be limited to—gay readers.

—Lisa Rohrbaugh, Leetonia Community P.L., OH