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From the moment she walks from court having been charged with attempting to poison her husband, to her banishment, escape to Paris, and final years of solitude and waiting, the life of Thérèse Desqueyroux is passionate and tortured. The victim of a hostile fate, Thérèse, as Mauriac said of her ‘belongs to that class of human beings … for whom night can end only when life itself ends. All that is asked of them is that they should not resign themselves to night’s darkness.’ Thérèse’s moving and powerful story affirms the vitality of the human spirit, making her an unforgettable heroine.
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Nothing could be more powerful or more moving than the manner in which Mauriac relates his story. Both his subject and his style frequently recall Racine and Baudelaire; and indeed we often feel that we are dealing here with a poem.
His books are bewitchingly readable.