CHILDREN OF HEAVEN by Christine Rochefort


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This writer, who attracted a fair amount of attention with her first novel to appear in the U.S.A., Warrior's Rest, has here a very different kind of book, which was awarded the Prix du Roman Populiste in France. The expected implications of a social message are deserved in the view that it affords of the new look, the welfare state, in France, of families subsidized according to their philoprogenitive activities, so that every child is calculated in terms of what it will net- a new refrigerator or a washing machine. Josyane, who tells the story, is the victim of this belt-line production- a baby a year and in two instances twins. Told by her mother to grow up fast in order that she can take charge of her brothers and sisters (just as hard for the reader to keep track of), she ages in other ways. She indulges in precocious nymphomanic pursuits (older men, young boys) until at the end she has found her true love and projects a future in terms of another Project home, and the baby which is already on the way will be the first down payment on the household appliances to follow. There are wryly funny, desperate, touching moments which do not quite camouflage the seriousness of the message and confirm the fact that this is one of the more truly talented younger writers to have appeared in the nouvelle vague and made the transition here.

Publisher: McKay