by Guy de Maupassant
** spoiler alert ** A beautifully written story very much of its time. The first half is alive with pastoral, descriptive imagery so wonderfully realised. It could be a bit much for some readers and I thought it was simply Du Maupassant's writing style but I think he deliberately exaggerates the beauty of nature and Jeanne's surroundings in the earlier stages to contrast and highlight the misery of her later days. The narrative is not necessarily a new one and does not throw up any surprises, there are times when you want to shake Jeanne to make her a little tougher and I feel the ending could have done with more resolution with her son in some way, it ended rather abruptly.