Set against the translucent beauty of France in summer, Bonjour Tristesse is a bittersweet tale narrated by Cecile, a seventeen-year-old girl on the brink of womanhood, whose meddling in her father's love life leads to tragic consequences.
Endearing, self-absorbed, seventeen-year-old Cécile is the very essence of untroubled amorality. Freed from the stifling constraints of boarding school, she joins her father—a handsome, still-young widower with a wandering eye—for a carefree, two-month summer vacation in a beautiful villa outside of Paris with his latest mistress. Cécile cherishes the free-spirited moments she and her father share, while plotting her own sexual adventures with a "tall and almost beautiful" law student. But the arrival of her late mother's best friend intrudes upon a young girl's pleasures. And when a relationship begins to develop between the adults, Cécile and her lover set in motion a plan to keep them apart...with tragic, unexpected consequences.
The internationally beloved story of a precocious teenager's attempts to understand and control the world around her, Françoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse is a beautifully composed, wonderfully ambiguous celebration of sexual liberation, at once sympathetic and powerfully unsparing.
This special Harper Perennial Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Diane Johnson and a P.S. section with additional insights about the book and author.