The Missing Baluster - Patrice Saiman
The Missing Baluster is Patrice Saiman's exceptional tale, from crib to a young adult. Patrice was the product of a one-night stand between Raoul (47) and Marcelle (24), who went on to marry in 1951. Both parents had a complicated past. Raoul was Jewish, and a decorated soldier under General de Gaulle’s French Free Forces and had lost his wife in the war. He was father to their teenage daughter, and now in a relationship with Marianne, with whom he had a baby daughter. Marcelle was a Catholic, separated from Jean, and mother to a 6-year-old daughter. Marcelle had been in a relationship with a German commandant during the Occupation of Paris, who had looked after her and her daughter. Raoul wanted a son and Marcelle wanted security.
Patrice was adored by his father and Marcelle had finally got the identity and security she craved. She had become Madame Saiman, the wife of a prolific Paris lawyer and distinguished soldier. The first four years and three months of Patrice’s life were seemingly idyllic until Raoul’s sudden death aged fifty-three... Those years defined Patrice’s future and character. His childhood was spent at ten different schools and boarding schools and living alone in Paris as a 17-year-old, his teenage life was consumed by feeling responsible for his mother. From market seller to door to door salesman, from washer up to waiter, from acting in student plays and on Lebanese television, to helping in his mother’s soon-to-go-bankrupt hotel, it was all a long way from the first four years and three months of his life. An escape from his mother to Bristol - where his half-sister was working illegally - would further define Patrice’s future. At the age of 22 nothing could frighten him. Possibly...
Published: March 2021
Dimensions: 22.4 x 2.5 x 14.7 cm