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THE DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID
OCTAVE MIRBEAU
ISBN# (10)0-06-123725-6 / (13)978-0-06-123725-6
February 2007
Harper Perennial
10 East 53rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10022
Mass Market Paperback
$13.95
392 Pages
Erotic Fiction
Rating: 2 Cups

Celestine ran away from a horrible childhood to become a chambermaid in Paris. Some of her employers were kind, some not so kind, but all are mentioned in her diary.

Celestine’s diary is her friend and confidant throughout her years as a domestic servant. A domestic servant of the late nineteenth century reflects back upon her career and looks ahead to her future.

This is not an easy book to read. It is a very literal translation, which means that some colloquialisms are incomprehensible. In other parts only a student of late nineteenth century French history is able to understand what is going on. Footnotes would have been very helpful here.

Using the device of the diary, the story bounces all over the place, making things confusing at times. Celestine herself is a selfish, whiney and conceited character who has no friends and little good to say of anyone. Her sexual adventures are many, but not particularly erotic, quantity rather than quality. Her relationship with Joseph makes no sense. She accuses him of the rape and murder of a child, and she knows he is a thief, but she marries him anyway. I guess he was right; they are two of a kind.

Maura
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

 

 

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