In this strikingly original biographical novel, Marie Bronsard reweaves the history of her family—and the legend of her grandmother—leaving no stone unturned and no skeleton in the closet.
Egocentric and domineering, Bronsard’s grandmother was once a vibrant and sensual beauty. In Indochina at the end of the Second World War, she thrived in the social life of the French colony, but her young soldier husband sought a quieter existence, finding solace in the companionship of their adolescent daughter, Bronsard’s mother. The consequences of this choice reverberate throughout the family. But far from being an airing of grievance or dirty laundry, Bronsard’s memoir has the air of catharsis—here, the pain, secrets, and comic moments of Bronsard’s family are remembered with gentle humor, understanding, and affection. A wry irony tempers emotion, and it is in these pages that the author at last finds it possible to name the woman of the legend and perhaps bring her grandmother a measure of peace.
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