A MATTER OF FEELING by Janine Boissard


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A dewy First Affair in a French family sit-corn frame--as 17-year-old narrator Pauline Moreau is initiated into womanhood by 38-year-old painter Pierre, who has a free-form living arrarigement with lover Brigitte and their nine-year-old daughter. Pauline (who wants to be a writer) lives in a quasi-rural suburb of Paris with harassed doctor father Charles, understanding Mother (who turns out to be a Real Person), and three sisters: beautiful, mooning, 21-year-old Claire, who rebels over Father's edict about secretarial school, bolts without a trace, but is tracked down and reprieved; horse-loving 19-year-old Bernadette, who vainly attempts to save Germain--an aging gelding--from the stable-owner's order of execution; and pre-teen Cecile, collector of poisonous mushrooms, who triumphs on a TV game show and saves Germain with a Christmastide plea on the air. But the big story is Pauline's unfolding to her first experience of love--as lucky Pierre, his control noticeably slipping, surrenders to tempest within: ""Oh, my timid, fearful pure one. . . ,"" he breathes at the Moment. (And afterwards Pauline, transformed, knows that ""I was the woman and it was he who was the child."") Mother and papa Charles know what's going on, but they allow young passion its play--which ends when Pierre breaks off to avoid altering the innocence of pure love. Throughout, the episodic trials of the family smack of TV's One Day at a Time, and the affaire is decorated with rather tiresome, flowery sentiment--but some undeniable appeal for a young-adult audience.

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1980
Publisher: Little, Brown