This year's Prix Goncourt, and the only distinctive prize novel of the lot, a damning picture of today's moneyed bourgeoisie and one girl's thwarted rebellion against her family and her class. The Boussardels, whose sole interests are ""finance and fertility, all with the object of the aggrandisement of the family"" typify all that is stale and self-seeking in modern middle class life. Agnes Boussardel first escapes by going to America where she stays for two years, has an affair which peters out, and then returns to France. Pregnant, she sees her way out through marriage to a penniless cousin, a marriage encouraged by the family since it disposes at the same time of the only two to defy the Boussardel tradition. Some time after their marriage, before the birth of the child, the Boussardels reveal the young groom's physical disability which had been withheld from him and which leads to his suicide. Agnes' revolt carries through, however, in the child of alien blood who will escape the family stranglehold. A brutal, discerning book, uneven in spots, but a telling picture of a certain way of life.