Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day Twenty-Four: "The Little Bouilloux Girl" by Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette


Told from the point of view of a young French girl, this story tracks the rise to womanhood of the narrator's companion, another young French girl whose beauty is taking her places and helping her move up in the world in a way that the narrator isn't. There's a sense, not of jealousy, but of curiosity over this strange phenomenon.

Pretty girl. Pretty clothes. Pretty life. Pretty people around her. Pretty future.

Why? This question is never actually asked by the narrator but it's the overarching theme that is never really answered by the story's end. Instead, there seems to be some sort of justice or satisfaction in ultimately NOT being the pretty girl and this is shown perfectly when the narrator spots her companion on the street as an adult, aged and still looking for a man special enough to sweep her away.

This is a story where one girl's patience is another girl's poison. Very nicely done by a French writer I'd not yet read.

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