CHANTAL by Guy Des Cars


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For those who remember The Brute, where another kind of affliction ran its unhealthy course, here is Chantal, a young woman of splendid physical attractions, who-when scratched by a Siamese cat, contracts leprosy. She leaves a wealthy lover, and an illegitimate son, behind and sets off for the small island of Makogai in the Fiji Archipelago- but during the crossing she falls in love for the first time- with Robert Nicot, and conceals her condition from him. On the island there is the physical lethargy as well as spiritual depression of this disease, but her beauty (her face is unmarred) earns her the love of several, causes the death of one man, and incites an uprising. The months pass- and the years- and finally she is cured and returns to Paris, but the stigma of disease outlasts its term. She renounces her child- and then Robert whose love turns to pity (and disgust) with the revelation of her past illness. And with the death of a young nun on the island, she returns there to take her place..... There's more than one kind of morbid tissue here, but vicarious vicissitude does attract- often a healthy audience.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1954
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin