Notes on “Synthesis”:

+ I created "Aunt Agnes" as an attempt to resolve what family Robert Goren was staying with in "Faithful." She's the grandmother of Molly, who bonded with him, and William Goren's sister. The Fry family lives in Michigan.

+ Ben Siler and Karin Hirahara were, in my post-series history, Robert Goren's partners when he worked with the FBI. Jennifer is Karin's wife. Penelope Saltonstall was his supervisor at the FBI, and now operates in a supervisory position to his consultant work.

+ Ella Miyazaki, the young Japanese-American woman from the episode "Great Barrier."

+ "Hannah Jane" (or possibly "June") was listed on the birth certificate of Nicole's child who was abused and drowned. Her father's name was Rohan Bartlett.

+ The three "interludes" that are posted with their corresponding chapters of this story were ideas that came to me but didn't belong to the main narrative. But they begged to be written, so here they are.

+ The biography of Heinrich is American Sherlock.

+ Wikipedia says Nature morte is in a private collection, so...

+ Lucien Freud references season one's "Art."

+ A "Wendy house" is a British name for a playhouse; Mignon used it in "Disclosure" to refer to the shed-come-office in the yard.

+ Tipsy is a tribute to the little dog who belonged to my mother-in-law. Hopefully she would have been more faithful!

+ "There will be time, there will be time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet..." from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

+ Nicole's Paris history from "The Catacombes" episode of Rene Balcer's eight-part detective series Jo, which also featured Law & Order alumnus Jill Hennessey as co-star, and Sam Waterston as a guest appearance in one episode.

+ I use "jumper" in the American sense of a sleeveless dress that goes over a blouse or a sweater, not "jumper" in the British sense of a sweater.

+ You may be able to tell that I've never been to France. I did do research, so many thanks to Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door, Ina Caro's Paris to the Past, Vivian Swift's Le Road Trip, Elaine Sciolino's The Seine: The River That Made Paris, Samantha Verant's How to Make a French Family, Mark Greenside's (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living, and Mary Casanova's Grace, and Google Maps for what's at Compiègne and the streets around Paris. Also

if you want to see the memorial clearing at Compiègne.

+ "Touch and Go" was written by Rupert Holmes after the birth of his daughter Wendy, who passed away at the age of ten. I was charmed by the idea of Bobby and Alex singing this lovely little lullaby to their own new child. "Touch and Go" is copyright 1986 by Holmes Line of Music. To hear Rupert sing "Touch and Go":

+ Ever since initially blocking out this story in May 2022, I'd was never satisfied with the title. Most gave away the conclusion—not that it wasn't a foregone conclusion—much too early. Initially the title was "Transformative" or "Transformation," but it didn't work for me. I finally changed it to "Relations," which covered everything: relations between the couples, the families, the countries. In a pinch, "Foreign Relations"—since some of the relations would be unique.

What I know about France was learned in history class, from Rick Steves, and from engaging travel books like Paris to the Past and The Seine. It wasn't enough. I traveled to Compiègne and Paris on Google Maps. I read more about France (books by Samantha Verant, Vivian Swift, even the first American Girl novel about Grace, the 2015 Girl of the Year, who travels to Paris—merci, Grace, for reminding me they would go to a boulangerie for bread, not the pastisserie).

Twelve days before posting part one, I was completing (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living, where Mark Greenside reveals how he became, despite his clumsy errors, comfortable with his Breton home and neighbors. He mentioned "Thesis. Antithesis. Synthesis." That interested me enough that I looked it up and found: "Synthesis: the combining of the constituent elements of separate material…into a single or unified entity; a complex whole formed by combining (italics mine)." And following those definitions: "Philosophy. The third stage of argument in Hegelian dialectic, which reconciles the mutually contradictory first two propositions, thesis and antithesis." Voila, a tie back to Nicole's introduction: "Anti-Thesis."

Funny how that worked. Merci, Mark Greenside.


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