highly recommend this gem to anyone that loves good fiction, can appreciate lyrical language reminiscent of Flaubert (fine chocolate!) and the obsession one carries for their art. It's the story of two ex-pats in Belgium, Adina and Zachary. Adina, in want of fodder for her fiction, heads to Belgium for a year to work as an au pair for a chain-smoking, disillusioned mother, a perpetually drunk father and a child that is wise beyond his years. A chance encounter with a painter, Zachary (who is lead to Belgium by a wealthy cousin who patrons him with a gallery and a premiere exhibition), in a bus in Prague sparks their obsession for one another. A white-haired Adina (her hair mysteriously falls out in the beginning of the novel and grows back white, the absence of color) and a man that can only paint when she is evoked, fall in love with one another or how each other affects their art. Soon, Adina is writing furiously, feverishly. Stories about the body and the mind and their mutual exclusivity and their intricate ties to each other. Zachary murals Adina, his only vision is her. Throughout, Krista is fierce in her philosophy and her prose is never precious, but smart and precise. Each chapter shifts point of view between the two characters and the flow is organic and satisfying. A highly recommended read with an unexpected and climatic ending.