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The Diary of Mademoiselle D'Arvers (Modern…
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The Diary of Mademoiselle D'Arvers (Modern Classics (Penguin))

by Toru Dutt

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I tried my luck with the Blog a Penguin Classic site. Like probably many others, I got a book I wouldn't otherwise have read. Toru Dutt is an 19th century Indian author and a poet and this book is the first novel from India written in French. This novel was written in secret and discovered by the author's father after her very early death.

As the title says, it's a diary. Mademoiselle Marguerite D'Arvers is a 15-year old girl, home from her convent education. At home she finds her childhood friends, the young count, his brother and the handsome Captain Lefèvere.

Marguerite loves one of the men, but which one of them loves Marguerite? As you can imagine, the network of relationships is somewhat complex and complicated and finding true love and happiness isn't obvious. Eventually Marguerite is married and begins the domestic life as a wife to man - but which one?

This is not my kind of book, really. I found Marguerite's naïve narration (she's constantly excited! and ecstatic! and thank God for that! Praised be Virgin Mary!) annoying and even though something actually happened in the story, I still found it boring rather than poignant.

(Review of The Diary of Mademoiselle D'Arvers at Mikko reads) ( )
  msaari | Aug 1, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143032550, Paperback)

Set in France in the second half of the nineteenth century, "The Diary of Mademoiselle D'Arvers", or "Le Journal de Mademoiselle D'Arvers", is a novel of possibilities and limitations; of love, marriage and domesticity, and the heartaches and joys of growing up. Fifteen-year-old Marguerite, fresh from her convent education and extremely religious, returns to her family and experiences the first stirrings of love, only to find herself entangled in a complicated net of relationships. The story traces Marguerite's growth through adolescence to maturity and marital happiness. Written in secret and discovered by the author's father after her death, this poignant novel is a unique and unexpected outcome of the intellectual, linguistic and cultural ferment of nineteenth-century colonial Bengal.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:03 -0400)

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