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Serious Hours of a Young Lady   By: (1806-1861)

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Serious Hours of a Young Lady by Charles Sainte-Foi delves deep into the complexities of a young woman's journey through life, exploring themes of self-discovery, societal expectations, and the pursuit of happiness. Seamlessly blending elements of romance, drama, and introspection, this captivating novel offers readers a poignant and thought-provoking experience.

The story revolves around the protagonist, a young lady named Anne-Marie, who finds herself trapped in the confines of her oppressive surroundings. As she navigates the expectations of her demanding family and conforming society, she grapples with her own desires, hopes, and dreams. Anne-Marie's internal conflicts and external struggles are masterfully portrayed, inviting readers to immerse themselves in her captivating journey.

What sets this novel apart is the authenticity and depth of the main character's voice. Charles Sainte-Foi skillfully captures Anne-Marie's thoughts, fears, and vulnerabilities, allowing readers to develop a profound connection with her. Through the protagonist's introspection, the author delves into profound philosophical and existential questions about love, identity, and the pursuit of happiness.

Sainte-Foi's exquisite prose adds another layer of elegance to the narrative. His poetic descriptions paint vivid, picturesque scenes, transporting readers to the enchanting world he's created. The author's attention to detail creates a sense of realism, making it easy for readers to relate to Anne-Marie's experiences and empathize with her struggles.

While the novel primarily focuses on Anne-Marie's personal journey, it also explores the complexities of human relationships. Through her interactions with various characters, including her family, friends, and love interests, the author delves into the dynamics of societal expectations and the sacrifices people often make to fit in.

Despite its serious tone, Serious Hours of a Young Lady is not without moments of levity and hope. Sainte-Foi skillfully infuses the narrative with instances of humor and subtle wit, bringing a refreshing lightness to the story. These interludes help alleviate the weightiness of the subject matter, providing readers with a well-rounded emotional experience.

One aspect that may require a bit of patience from readers is the slow pace of the novel. As the title implies, this book is meant to be savored, with its leisurely unfolding of events offering an opportunity for introspection. While it might not be for those seeking a fast-paced plot, the gradual progression allows for a more profound exploration of Anne-Marie's inner world.

Overall, Serious Hours of a Young Lady is an exquisite literary masterpiece. Charles Sainte-Foi's careful craftsmanship, compelling characters, and thought-provoking themes create a deeply moving and enriching reading experience. For anyone seeking a soul-stirring journey through the complexities of womanhood and the pursuit of self-fulfillment, this novel is an absolute must-read.

First Page:

This file was produced from images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions.






Translated from the French



A celebrated author has justly remarked that Christian women can, like the guardian angels, invisibly govern the world; and the author of the " Serious Hours of a Young Lady " has very appropriately made this truth the basis of his book, since the object that he had in view in writing it was to point out the important role that woman plays in society, and to give the young girl such instructions as will enable her, in due time, to discharge, in a worthy manner, the duties of her calling. In doing this he has given evidence of very elevated views and of a profound knowledge of the human heart. The book is a tissue of practical counsels, couched in the clearest and most delicate terms.

Hence, judging from its intrinsic worth, and the universal welcome with which it has been hailed in the original, we feel that it is no exaggeration to assert that it has rendered and will still render inestimable good to society.

After having lucidly exposed the importance of woman's mission in this world, and pointed out the evils that prevent its realization, the author ingeniously brings before the mind's eye the different phases of her life, the varied process of development that she undergoes in all her faculties, the dangerous influences to which she is constantly exposed, the means that should be employed to ensure her protection... Continue reading book >>

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