The Wedding

Yann Queffelec, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $0 (248p) ISBN 978-0-02-599470-6
The calculated gang rape of a French teenager by three American soldiers based in a seacoast town at the end of World War IIthis is Nicole's nightmarish ""wedding.'' Winner of the Prix Goncourt, the novel counterpoints the sane against the insane, indicating how a society viciously misapplies the terms. Despised now and pregnant, Nicole vainly tries to abort the child whose father she cannot know. From his birth, Ludovic, contemptuously named for the mad Bavarian king, receives the brunt of Nicole's hatred. He is cooped up in an attic, whose walls he decorates with bizarre murals that reveal his artistic gift and his adoration for his mother. The author characterizes Nicole without nuance; her rigid, unexamined cruelty to Ludo for the next 16 years is the novel's major flaw. Micho, the gentle musician/mechanic whom Nicole marries, yields to her demands to put the boy in a mental home. With the account of this enchanted forest institution, where retarded ``sleeping beauties'' are controlled with prayers and Valium, the novel improves. Ludo's escape, his months of refuge in the rusting hulk of a derelict ship, and his inevitable, stunning encounter with Nichole reveal Queffelec at his powerful best. (November)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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