HER FRENCH HUSBAND by Phyllis Hastings


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The scene shifts from the England of her earlier books (Dust Is My Pillow and Rapture in My Rags) to France, but again the theme has echoes of the past. Once again a woman finds herself the prisoner of cruelty on the part of man. Rose has sacrificed herself for her invalid mother; at 30, she is left alone, penniless, unprepared for life. Her one relative, a spinster aunt in Bournemouth, takes her in, and Rose foresees another stretch of enslavement to the old -- and escapes into marriage with a chance met Frenchman, a waiter, who has acquired a grubby, down-at-heel hotel in a northern provincial town in France. Again it is prison of a sort, this time, Rose finds, further darkened by the cruelty, physical and spiritual, of Achille, her husband. Then they are summoned to his mother's bedside. A stroke had felled her in the fields as she toiled; it had not killed her determination to live and give orders to her sons- and daughter-in-law. How the story works out to the trial of strength between Achille and his brother, Jacquot, provides the balance of a tale in which French and English moralities and mores are pitted against each other. The manner affords more enjoyment than the matter.

Publisher: Dutton