The Truth about Bebe Donge

Georges Simenon, Author, Louise Varese, Translator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $18.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-15-191319-0
First published in France in 1942 and anthologized in the U.S. in 1953, this novella appears here for the first time in book form, with the author's spare prose receiving an elegant translation. When wealthy merchant Francois Donge is poisoned with arsenic, police arrest his wife, Bebe. Throughout the ensuing investigation and trial, she keeps her composure and her own counsel while the other characters offer a Rashomon -like diversity of views about her. There are intimations of drug use and sexual ambiguity; Francois is revealed as a self-absorbed creep who treated his wife like a piece of furniture, engaged in repeated infidelities and neglected their child. Had the abused spouse reached the end of her tether? Did she fear that Francois's latest mistress would lure him away, depriving her of the marriage's only benefits--wealth and position? In the end, the only answer not provided is the one promised by the title: there is no ultimate truth about Bebe Donge. Vintage Simenon, tres gallique, a perfect treat of a summer read. ( June )
Reviewed on: 06/01/1992
Release date: 06/01/1992
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.