In the second volume of Proust's great novel, the narrator emerges as an actor in the drama of his own life. Swann has now dwindled into a husband for his former mistress, Odette, and their daughter, Gilberte, becomes the adolescent narrator's playmate and tantalising love object.
We move from Paris to the seaside town of Balbec, from ritualised social performances to midsummer spontaneity and from Gilberte to her successor, Albertine.
In Balbec, the narrator is befriended by the painter Elstir who introduces him both to the craft of painting and to the mysterious 'little band' of girls. An artistic education is thus intricately interwoven with a journey of sexual self-discovery.
This is now the entire audiobook, not in two parts.