A dramatic tale of murder and passion in 1930s France from the author of David Golder and Suite Française
In a French courtroom, the trial of a woman is taking place. Gladys Eysenach is no longer young, but she is still beautiful, elegant, cold. She is accused of shooting dead her much-younger lover. As the witnesses take the stand and the case unfolds, Gladys relives fragments of her past: her childhood, her absent father, her marriage, her turbulent relationship with her daughter, her decline, and then the final irrevocable act. With the depth of insight and pitiless compassion we have come to expect from the author of Suite Française, Irène Némirovsky shows us the soul of a desperate woman obsessed with her lost youth.
“Slender, but engrossing, novel... Némirovsky's subtle twist and typically jewelled prose presents the glittering enormity of Gladys, an unsympathetic but vividly realised character who dominates this tale in a fascinating portrait of paranoid self-absorption.”
“Nemirovsky's tale of a woman on trial for shooting her young lover rings more contemporary bells than we might think at first”
Lesley McDowell, The Independent on Sunday
“Fast-paced and highly dramatic, it offers a fascinating glimpse into an inter-war world of privilege, wealth and Darwinian social combat'”
Simon Shaw, New Statesman