- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 128 pages
- Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 21/07/2005
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780714534022
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Review by StevenTX
Raymond Radiguet tells, in first person, the story of a remarkably independent and self-assured teenage boy who takes a young woman as his lover. The story takes place in France during the First World War. When the unnamed narrator meets Marthe, she is engaged to a soldier in the French army. The marriage proceeds, but the war keeps the husband in the front lines and and affords the two lovers plenty of time to consummate their affair, which they scarcely bother to conceal.There is much insight in this novel into the forms and attitudes of lovers. The narrator's voice is coldly analytical, surprisingly so considering that Radiguet was writing about his own recent past while still in his teens. Aside from being a romance, however, the novel is also a portrait of domination and manipulation in a relationship. From the moment they meet, the narrator begins directing Marthe's life--changing her hair, her wardrobe, dictating her letters to her husband, and even telling her what furniture to buy. This is a remarkable study in the behavioral mechanics behind a passionate relationship.