Thursday, 12 January 2012

"Belle Famille," - "Nice Family," by Arthur Dreyfus

"Belle Famille," (Nice Family) - résumés of chapters 4,5, and 6 from original French by Frencheuropean.

Chapter 4

When his parents are on duty, Madec likes to watch television in their room. On seeing a woman on the screen getting herself accidentally devoured by a tiger at the zoo, before the eyes of visitors, suddenly interested in animal life, he plays with the idea of violent death.

Then he looks back on Sundays at mass, where he spends his time observing people and notably the old women (he calls them the hens). He notes that his mother often cries during the hymns and doesn't know why. She doesn't elsewhere.

Chapter 5

One day, after mass, he asks old father Garrec if he can go with him to the farm to see the cows. At the house, the old man recounts old stories while drinking red wine. The child insists on drinking a glass of it, then two and falls asleep. Also drunk, the old man goes to sleep. He is awoken by the police, who have been searching for hours for the child. The imp found asleep with the cows with alcohol in his blood, is given into the care of six child psychiatrists to see if he has suffered from the sequestration and is examined by a doctor who establishes that he has not been abused. The old man is committed to a psychiatric hospital. After consulting her lawyer, the mother does not have him prosecuted, but gives him fifty days to leave town. That will not be necessary; he dies after three weeks in hospital, like his forty cows that no one has thought to water in his absence.

End of Part 1

Chapter 6

Leaving for Tuscany. A dull journey, listening to the father's boring stories and searching, unsuccessfully, for restaurants that are open.

Laurence remembers her first meeting with her husband during a surgical operation where she was assisting him. She had decided to seduce him because she wanted to be a mother. It was only in the car park that she realised with horror, as he no longer had his surgical mask on, that a horrible scar crossed the lower part of his face. All the same, she noted that he had regular features and clear eyes and calculated that that mark would make him more vulnerable and attentive, which decided her.

Five years later, their first child Vladimir is born.


Note: the novel, "Belle Famille," can be purchased from Amazon France

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