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THE TALE OF THE ROSE by Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry Kirkus Star


The Passion that Inspired The Little Prince

by Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry & translated by Esther Allen

Pub Date: July 3rd, 2001
ISBN: 0-375-50564-4
Publisher: Random House

A literary memoir from the wife of one of the most beloved figures in children’s literature.

Consuelo Carrillo met the famous French writer and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in Buenos Aires within a year of being widowed from her first husband. The smitten Antoine proposed on the night they met. Overwhelmed by his romantic interest in her, Consuelo fled to France—and Antoine (bearing the gift of a caged puma) quickly followed. This present would prove an apt metaphor for her relationship with the voluble aviator, for Consuelo suffered greatly from the mercurial Antoine’s impulsiveness. Even while Antoine was still deeply in love with her, he always seemed to be on the move, either leaving for one of his flights or uprooting their home and relocating it to some new part of Europe or French West Africa. Finally, after he crashed in Libya and went missing for several days, Consuelo had what can only be described as a nervous breakdown. It was after this that Antoine withdrew emotionally as well as physically from his troubled wife, taking on a mistress and setting up separate homes for himself and Consuelo. Yet he could not bring himself to break completely with his wife, and whenever she seemed on the verge of leaving him for good either circumstance or Antoine himself would conspire to bring her back. He had an endearing childlike wonder at the world around him (matched by an equally childlike selfishness), and he would inevitably repeat his pattern of physical and emotional abandonment upon Consuelo’s returns. This she endured until Antoine disappeared over France during a reconnaissance mission in 1944.

A passionate, dreamlike memoir that draws you into its reverie.