I was poking around at an 80% off sale at one of my favorite book stores when I came across a book that caught my eye: The Girl from the Chartreuse by Pierre Peju. I’d never heard of it before, but I thought it would look pretty on my bookshelf (yes, I judge a book by its cover!) so I decided to add it to my purchases.
The Girl from the Chartreuse (Fr. “La Petite Chartreuse,” translated into English by Ina Rilke) is a French novella that won the prestigious Prix du Livre Inter in 2003, and was made into a French film in 2005.
It starts off ominously: “Five in the afternoon. It will be exactly five in the afternoon under the bitter cold November rain when the van of the bookseller Vollard (Etienne) spurting down the avenue collides head-on with a little girl who runs smack into his path.”