La Femme De Gilles, Madeleine Bourdouxhe

La Femme De Gilles, Madeleine Bourdouxhe, translated by Faith Evans, published by Melville House in 2016, was first published in 1937 in French.  It’s a devastating book about a woman being treated with flagrant disrespect by her husband.  The emotional brutality forces its way into you when you read and you want to take the wife’s hands and take her and her children as far away from her husband as possible.  The book you think of the most while reading it is The Awakening was published in 1899, although in Kate Chopin’s book, the woman’s grief is created by society not specifically by her husband.  In La Femme de Gilles, our wife’s grief is caused by her husband, Gilles.  No matter how badly her husband treats her, telling the stories of his love relationship with her vacuous sister, giving her a play by play of their adulterous meetings, she continues cooking, washing, even making her body available as necessary.  In The Days of Abandonment published in 2005 a wife is consumed by the love of her husband until she cannot see herself clearly.  La Femme gives our poor wife no room to create her own happiness.  We are tied into her frame of mind which is bitterly tied to her husband.  The writing has the elegance of Duras and Colette.  Women have come a long ways but nearly far enough.  Who do we live for?

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Published in: on April 7, 2017 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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