Saturday, November 7, 2009

Romain Gary Lady L.

The power of this short book lies in it's characters and in it's interesting details even in the historical ones which adds to the exciting story.
In this novel we encounter "Lady L." the old widow of an English aristocrat  sharing with her admirer poet her well kept secret the wrecked love for Armand Denis a French anarchist.  The high society of England - which treasures her as a national asset having her grandchildren in high positions like governmantal ministers, bishops, chairmen in the  Bank of England,  officers of  her majesty the Queen - does not even think or suspect that she is not of blue blood. She is in fact Annette Boudin the daughter of a Parisian laundress and of an alcoholic printer who spends most of his time not  working but  drinking, preaching and printing the anarchist ideas of  Bakunin or Kropotkin. While he preaches against suppression and explotation the family is sustained only by  the mother's  work. Annette hates her father and sees with good eyes everything her father is talking against: governmant, police, church, aristocracy. When her mother dies she has to take on the laundry work of his mother and even becomes a prostitute to ensure the daily ratio of drink and bread for his father who shows even intentions of  abusing her sexually. Soon Mr. Boudin is found dead and Annete is just grateful for that. Working as a prostituate she is taken up by Alphonse Lecoeur the leader of the French mobsters who is involved with the anarchist. Thus she meets Armand Denis the gorgeous man who turned from a Catholic priest into a anarchist terrorist and mobster.  Lecoeur decides to turn her into a bait and spy and pais for her classes which teach her how to act like a countess. Because of her beauty and aristocratic manners she can rapidly mingle in the midst of aristocratic circles not arousing suspicion at all helping to commit terror acts like the assasination of a Bulgarian prince and robberies. Annette who loves  the angelical Armand has a serious rival. For the revolutionary Armand it is more important his passion for the masses for which he commits his crimes. He would never settle and would never want to lead a rich and calm life.
Because of these out of vengeance she causes the arrest of Armand  and marries an extravant English aristocrat  who knows her secret, even if she is pregnant with the child of Armand. But the hope of love never dies and she has the chance to encounter the fugitive Armand again. I invite the reader to discover the strange ending. Lady L. at Amazon.