AWAKE MONIQUE by Astrid Van Royen


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Astrid Van Royen's parents were killed in an automobile accident when she was very young. Such an event, intrinsically, tragic, bore an even greater tragic character considering the idyllic family life she had known with them contrasted to the austerity with her grandparents who assumed guardianship. Interested in the forbidden adult world of sex had been aroused very early and furbished by the secret trysts of the maid and her boyfriend in Astrid's living room. Early experiments with Pim and her own body ushered her into the area which became a focal, but eventually integral, part of her life. The mystery unveiled, she began to discard conventional attitudes and to view sex as a rather natural and pleasurable activity. The interlude with the grandparents was fortuitously terminated by the arrival of Uncle Reinier who adopted the miserable child and returned the happiness she once had. Reinier and Astrid occupied the upstairs apartment; below lived his wife Clara, a Lesbian, with her girlfriend. The sexual awakening of Astrid progressed as she and her young artist uncle (by marriage) grew closer and closer until their love was consummated in sex and later formally rendered in marriage. To Monique, her daughter, Astrid resummons the peculiar conditions of her adolescence that she might understand and share its beauty. Reinier was murdered by the Germans who discovered his underground alliances. Thus Monique and her baby brother were virtually fatherless. This book is a mother's self-imposed debt as well as an autobiography written with frankness and love.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1957
Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce