Claudine and Annie:
Reference entries 3/28/19, 5/14/19 and 6/21/19.
A surprising last book in the series. This book is from the perspective of Annie, who lives in the outskirts of Claudine's life. They share the same social circle. She is a young married woman, who's husband leaves her to travel for several months for business reasons. While away she blossoms in her independence. She crosses Claudine's path often and they become friends. Not "friends" like Claudine and Rezi. Confidantes, per se. Annie admires Claudine's boldness and freedom. She is fresh and new to her, as she has been oppressed and "molded" by her controlling husband. During his hiatus, she discovers he had a 2 year relationship with a very affluent woman in Paris. Everyone knew but her. She was embarrassed, angry and devastated. It is the impetus she needed to leave and forge her own way through life. It is the shortest of the four books.
Towards the end, she falls in love with Claudine and it's clear Claudine loves her, but will not allow it's fruition. She still harbors the pain felt from Rezi's betrayal, as the love she felt in that relationship was deep. Claudine is still with Renaud and they are very much in love, despite his infidelity. Based on the movie, we know they later separate.
She DOES take Annie under her wing and empowers her to take her life in her own hands and teaches her to let no other take back her newborn control.
The book ends with Annie going away on her own, caring less about what happens to her than putting distance between she and her husband.
It is my guess Claudine and Annie will meet again.
I read the four books in a compilation called "The Complete Collette". It was quite good. I loved the writing. It was fluid, descriptive and raw.
It took me a very long time to read, as I have also been reading books as part of a book club (see entry 3/20/19). In March/April we read the first together. I read the other three on my own, along with 2 other books for the club. To be honest, I'm not sure how I've found the time, but I managed. It's a matter of keeping the book handy and reading it whenever and wherever there was a spare moment.
I highly recommend it. For a condensed version of Colette's life, you could watch the movie starring Kiera Knightly.
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