The Riddle of the Sphinx opens with a lawyer named Eric who is doing very well at his firm. While on his way to see one of his daughters in a play he runs into someone that leads him to think back at his life and where he is now. As he moves through his life Eric finds himself confronting the moments in his life that led him to where he is today and what he has lost in his journey.
Eric’s story begins in Iran and with the protagonist being identified by a different name. Keyvan, as he is called in his youth, finds himself dealing with politics he doesn’t understand and eventually having to leave this country to the safety of another. The story jumps from this point to the college years of the protagonist’s life, where he is called Eric. With his mother living in Paris he is able to enjoy the club scene of this area while he is attending Princeton. During this period of his life he finds himself falling in love with a fellow male classmate and pursuing brief casual moments with other men. When the man he loves pushes him away Eric begins to go down a dark path, but at some point winds up on the path to where he is now. He might be married to a beautiful woman and be the father of two daughters, a reunion forces him to look at whether he is happy in his current life.
This story delves deeply into the evolution of the man who is primarily known as Eric. The feelings he develops for another man in college and then the subsequent moments with men that happen lead him to such a dark place that your heart will break for him. He wants to be happy and thinks he has found that happiness, but when he is rebuked he doesn’t know how to make it through. Alexandre Montague uses dream sequences to also show internal struggles and how Eric is trying to work through and understand what he is dealing with. Ultimately there is an analysis of what makes for a happy ending and how to find who you truly are after years of pressure to be someone else. The Riddle of the Sphinx is on sale today.