Named a Best International Crime Novel of the Year by CrimeReads
AN ASTONISHING DEBUT. THE NEXT BEST READ FOR FANS OF MY DARK VANESSA.
This striking debut novel inhabits the mind of a young married woman driven to extremes by disgust and dread in the aftermath of a rape.
Marie and Laurent, a young, affluent couple, have settled into their large Paris apartment and decide to start trying for a baby. This picture-perfect existence is shattered when Marie is assaulted by her new boss. Deeply shaken by the attack, she discovers she is pregnant, and is convinced her rapist is the father. Marie closes herself off in a destructive silence, ultimately leading her to commit an irreparable act.
In a first novel of extraordinary power and depth, Inès Bayard exposes disturbing truths about how society sees women and how women see themselves in turn.
Bayard's stunning debut tracks the devastating impact of a woman's rape on herself and her family. After Marie, a young financial consultant in Paris, is raped by the CEO at her bank, she tells no one about the attack. A few weeks later, on a picnic with her husband, Laurent, and her parents, sister, and baby nephew, the "pitiful ordinariness" of questions about her job "shoots through her head at the speed of sound," and she imagines driving a knife into her belly. Still gripped in a spiral of misery, Marie discovers she is pregnant. Though she and Laurent have been trying to conceive, she's certain the baby is her rapist's. After giving birth to her son, Thomas, a desperate and suicidal Marie eventually returns to her job and leaves Thomas at day care for as long as possible. Bayard's chronicle of Marie's breakdown escalates with blistering depictions of Marie's intense neglect of Thomas and of the household ("I've never been able to wash him because his penis disgusts me"; "I now think throwing things in the trash is just another modern pastime we should avoid"), with a defiant, feral energy that has echoes of Elena Ferrante's Days of Abandonment. As Laurent catches Marie in various lies and senses her distance, he becomes suspicious of the child's paternity. Meanwhile, Marie decides to take action, leading to a tragic, harrowing conclusion. Marie's indelible voice makes this a powerful study of sexual violence and its aftermath.
So accurate a book written about women. Sad ,very sad but her perspective gives stunning example of a women with nowhere to have understanding about her. Not being able to trust. Beautifully written piece. Please read.