- Author: Pierre Lemaitre
- Genre: psychological thriller
- Title: Robe de Marié ( reference pg 266)
- Published: 2009
- Table of Contents: 4 parts, pp. 314
- Publisher: Livre de Poche
- Language: French
- Dedication: Pour Pascaline, évidemment sans qui rien de tout ça…
- Setting: Paris
- Timeline 2000 – 2004
- Theme: revenge
- Trivia: Prix du polar francophone de Montigny-lès-Cormeilles, 2009
- Trivia: Prix Sang d’encre et Prix des lecteurs Goutte de Sang d’encre, Vienne, 2009
- Trivia: Prix des lectrices Confidentielles, 2009
The book is divided into 4 parts:
- Sophie (May 2002 – January 2004)
- The reader gets very little information about Sophie.
- Yet Lemaitre mentions some traumatic experiences in her past…
- that could effect Sophie’s state of mind.
- Sophie is constantly looking to see what time it is.
- Lemaitre inserts ‘snippet sentences’ to reveal Sophie’s mood:
- Seule. Facile à dire. Vertige. Réflexe magique. Envie de vomir.
- Frantz: May 2000 – January 2004
- Frantz and Sophie: January 2004 – June 2004
- Sophie and Frantz: July 2004
- Robe de Marié is not plot driven.
- Instead it concentrates on Sophie’s internal dialogue.
- The reader follows her thoughts and feelings.
- Sophie’s erratic behaviour reveals her unstable mental state.
- This makes her an unreliable narrator and we question if she is telling the truth!
- In conversations Sophie…
- ” inventé une nouvelle vie’ (pg 52); “s’ improvise des relations ” (pg 55)
- The problem is clear.
- People are dying all around Sophie when she ‘blacks out’.
- Is she insane or only dreaming?
Strong point: strong structure helps and surprises the confused reader!
- I feel lost in the story.
- But Lemaitre’s writing style helped me.
- He makes the characters actions easily recognizable.
- I counted at least 21-25 x ‘elle‘ on one page to reveal Sophie’s every move.
- The author puts ‘elle’ (main character) as the subject of the sentence.
- The ‘strong action’ verb follows directly.
- This sounds elementary but was an important factor.
- It helped me keep reading despite my confusion.
- Short, clear French sentences were easy to process.
Strong point: sensory images
- the use of the sense (touch,smell, taste, sound, body position) to stimulate one’s imagination:
- his head hanging between his knees (pg 22)
- child’s face feels like marble (pg 23)
- the oder of vomit makes her heart heave (pg 23)
- her foot slips on the pool of blood seeping across the floor (pg 60)
- she is calm, opens the door gently (pg 89)
- using a dream, dizziness, loss of hearing, vertigo
- …to indicate Sophie’s change of mood.
Strong point: irony
- Dramatic irony is at its best!
- Lemaitre makes sure the ONLY person who knows who the killer is…
- is paralyzed and cannot speak.
Motif: window ( mentioned 67x)
- Characters are constantly connected to a ‘window’.
- They pace back and forth in darkened rooms.
- Opening the window could comfort them (light)
- …or let the danger inside.
- It is an escape route to freedom.
- It is the last solution… jumping to their death.
- Lemaitre is truly a ‘master storyteller’ !
- Why has this book not been translated into English?
- I rarely read all the books by one author but Lemaitre is the exception.
- I was stunned by the twists and turns in this book
- After reading part 2 I had to re-read part 1 to see how many clues I missed!!
- I cannot say anything more about the plot….but I was so surprised!
- The characters are hiding their shadow side and suffer from mental and physical abuse.
- The suspense and intrigue will keep you on the edge of your seat!
- I highly recommend Robe de Marié.
- It is an easy French read and a page turner!
- I am amazed how much I enjoy my ‘Crime Fiction Adventure‘ !
Characters: Part 1
- Sophie Duguet née Auverney – 28 yr
- Patrick Auverney (father, retired architect)
- Catherine Auverney (mother, arts) died February 2000
- Mme Gervais (employer)
- M. Gervais (employer)
- Léo Gervais – 6 yr
- Vincent Duguet (husband) 31 yr
- M. Musain (bank employée)
- Dr. Brevet (therapist)
- Mme. Duguet (Sophie’s mother-in -law)
- Veronique Fabre 32 yr (aquaintance)
- Jaques Brusset – Veronique’s friend
- Jeanne – waitress at fast food restaurant
- Myriam Desclées – cocotte
- Manager fast food restaurant (no name)
- Marianne LeBlanc
Characters: Part 2
- Sophie Duguet
- Vincent Duguet
- Lionel Chalvin
- bignole – concierge argot Parisian
- René Bahorel – (farmer)
- Valérie Jourdain – Sophie’s good friend
- Andrée – Sophie’s colleague at the realtor’s office
- Dr. Brevet
- Penchenat – colleague at realtor’s office – alcoholic
- Laure Dufresne – Sophie’s neighbor in country village
Characters: Part 3
- Frantz (Sergent-chief Berg)
- Jenny – nurse in hospital
- Jondrette – suspicious policeman
- Valérie Jourdain
- Patrick Auverney
Characters: Part 4
- Sarah Berg
- Patrick Auverney