Summer of Reckoning

Marion Brunet, trans. from the French by Katherine Gregor. Bitter Lemon, $14.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-912242-26-9
French author Brunet makes her English-language debut with a smoldering psychological thriller that’s well written but covers familiar ground. In a town in the south of France, 16-year-old Céline is pregnant. Her abusive and alcoholic father, Manuel, can’t get her to divulge the name of her lover; her mother, Séverine, remains bitter over getting pregnant as a teen herself, and shows little sympathy toward her daughter; and Céline’s 15-year-old sister, Jo, doesn’t even understand why her sister is that interested in sex. As Manuel’s desire for information increases, he focuses his rage on Saïd, a friend of the girls and one of the few non-European people in town. Violence ensues. Though the turmoil Céline and her family go through is often tense, some readers may be uncomfortable that Céline is often described in terms that border on the fetishistic (“her denim shorts cut so high the fold between her buttocks and thighs opened and closed with every step she took”). Brunet has a lot to say about sex and society, but isn’t necessarily saying anything new. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/16/2020
Release date: 04/01/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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