Pierre and Jean- Maupassant   Leave a comment


This is another novel from my reading list, ‘1001 books to read before you die’. Another book by Maupassant. This is his shortest novel. It was originally published in 3 parts in a magazine before appearing in a single volume.

It is a pscho-realist novel. This means that is emphasizes character above everything. It tells the story from the interior of the character, including his motivations. Maupassant is not content to merely state what happens, but rather reveals and studies the motives behind each action.

The book covers only 2 subjects really, one’s knowledge of your heredity and what that means to a person and also the problems stemming from money.

Pierre and Jean are brothers. Their father is a retired Paris jeweller who has retired to live at Le Havre, with his sons and his wife Louise. Pierre the eldest, works as a doctor, and Jean is a lawyer.

An old friend dies and leaves his entire estate to the younger son, Jean. The family is thrilled except the elder brother, Pierre. He tries to work out the story behind the legacy.

The only story which works for him, is to suspect his younger brother the product of an affair of his mother and the deceased friend. He is horrified, unable to share the weight of this knowledge and his relationship with the family disintergrates.

Eventually he tells his brother, who confronts his mother and discovers the truth. Now Jean must deal with the information and we discover the torment his mother has been living with.

Jean must decide what to do about the legacy, his mother, who is suicidal, his brother and the revelation itself.

This type of novel I am particularly fond of. I loved this book. I have simplified the story, but the best is the interior thinking and dealing with the situation.


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