37th out of 239 books — 26 voters
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Summer of 1937 in the South of France. Three generations of aristocrats from Bordeaux spend the holidays by the sea. Then comes Boy. He is back from the USA. Everyone is overwhelmed, particularly his 12-year-old niece, Hildegarde, and the maid who used to be his lover, Suzon. But fate is never too generous with spoiled children. This idyllic summer is about to become much ...more
Paperback, 285 pages
Published 1976 by Penguin Books
(first published 1973)
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Mar 08, 2013 Camille rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Les deux narratrices, Hildegarde (à douze ans et demi, elle appartient à la dernière génération d'une aristocratie française dont l'univers est sur le point d'être bouleversé par la Seconde Guerre mondiale) et Suzon (âgée de vingt-cinq ans, elle est employée comme domestique par la famille maternelle d'Hildegarde), prennent tour à tour la parole pour faire le récit de l'été 1937 dans la maison familiale au bord de la mer. Oncle de l'une et amant de l'autre, Boy est irrésistible, excessif, ...more
Boy is a charmer who is indulged by his wealthy family and loved by the maid. The household is richly evoked by de Rivoyre, as is the time - 1937 France, with the Spanish Civil War in the background. The family struggles to adapt to changing times, but the two who loved Boy most, a young girl and the maid are the ones who, in the end, break free of his destructive hold and emerge from the traditions to their own independence. This is a jewel of a book, well worth searching out.