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Yvette   By: (1850-1893)

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Yvette by Guy de Maupassant is a compelling and thought-provoking novel set in 19th century France. The story revolves around the titular character, Yvette, a young and beautiful woman trapped in a rigid and oppressive society.

The narrative begins with Yvette’s turbulent childhood, marked by a lack of parental love and guidance. Despite her difficult upbringing, Yvette blossoms into a captivating woman, admired by both men and women alike. However, her beauty becomes both a blessing and a curse as she navigates a world obsessed with appearances.

Despite her many suitors and potential husbands, Yvette is determined to find true love and fulfilment. This search leads her through a series of tumultuous affairs and dangerous liaisons, exposing the dark underbelly of society. Through Yvette's experiences, Maupassant deftly explores themes of love, marriage, and the limitations imposed upon women during this time.

Maupassant's writing style is elegant and evocative, seamlessly transporting readers to the rich and vibrant world of 19th century France. The author's detailed descriptions bring to life the opulent balls, sumptuous countryside, and bustling city streets, creating a vivid backdrop for Yvette's personal journey.

One of the novel’s strengths is its complex and flawed characters, particularly Yvette herself. Filled with passion and a hunger for freedom, Yvette challenges societal norms and expectations, refusing to conform to the roles assigned to her by others. Her determination and independence make her a compelling protagonist, and readers will find themselves easily invested in her journey.

However, at times, the pacing feels slightly uneven, with certain sections feeling rushed while others linger for longer than necessary. Additionally, some readers may find the sheer volume of characters and subplots overwhelming, making it challenging to keep track of all the relationships and alliances throughout the novel.

Yet, it is precisely Maupassant's exploration of these intricate relationships and the constant shifting of alliances that make Yvette an engaging read. The author skillfully highlights the hypocrisy and complexities of upper-class society, offering a scathing critique of the prevailing social order.

Overall, Yvette is a masterfully written novel that combines social commentary with a captivating story of love, ambition, and personal liberation. Maupassant's keen observations and rich characterizations make this book an intriguing exploration of the human psyche and the transformative power of personal choices. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or simply enjoy a well-crafted tale, Yvette is a novel that is sure to leave a lasting impact.

First Page:



Henri Rene Guy de Maupassant


I. The Initiation of Saval II. Bougival and Love III. Enlightenment IV. From Emotion to Philosophy


The Initiation of Saval

As they were leaving the Cafe Riche, Jean de Servigny said to Leon Saval: "If you don't object, let us walk. The weather is too fine to take a cab."

His friend answered: "I would like nothing better."

Jean replied: "It is hardly eleven o'clock. We shall arrive much before midnight, so let us go slowly."

A restless crowd was moving along the boulevard, that throng peculiar to summer nights, drinking, chatting, and flowing like a river, filled with a sense of comfort and joy. Here and there a cafe threw a flood of light upon a knot of patrons drinking at little tables on the sidewalk, which were covered with bottles and glasses, hindering the passing of the hurrying multitude. On the pavement the cabs with their red, blue, or green lights dashed by, showing for a second, in the glimmer, the thin shadow of the horse, the raised profile of the coachman, and the dark box of the carriage. The cabs of the Urbaine Company made clear and rapid spots when their yellow panels were struck by the light.

The two friends walked with slow steps, cigars in their mouths, in evening dress and overcoats on their arms, with a flower in their buttonholes, and their hats a trifle on one side, as men will carelessly wear them sometimes, after they have dined well and the air is mild... Continue reading book >>

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