There is something quite disturbing about the character of Daniel who wants to destroy Mathieu’s freedom so much that he will sacrifice his own happiness in order to do so. It reminds me of a couple of people I know that fall into the category of ‘control freaks’ but you would hope no one would be prepared to concentrate their hatred on you like Daniel does on Mathieu.
The first part of the trilogy ends with things nicely set up for part two with you wondering just what will become of the leading characters. Things are left with Mathieu, Marcelle, Boris, Ivich, Lola and Daniel all in midstream.
Bullet points between pages 250 - 300
* Having taken Ivich back to his flat to try and console her after she failed her exams he is interrupted in trying to convince her to stay in Paris by Sarah who gives him an update on the abortionist
* Mathieu spills the beans to Ivich and then they part on bad terms because she is angry and refers to him as already thinking as a married man after he confesses he will have to marry Marcelle
* Things cut back to Daniel who is leaving the apartment after a homosexual encounter and in his rage with himself plans to go home and cut off his penis with a shaving blade but fails to do it and instead realises as he sips whisky in a bar that Mathieu will be meeting Marcelle
* On the way to see his mistress Mathieu steals 4,000 francs from Lola and then shows them to Marcelle who suddenly realises he is so keen to get rid of the baby he would steal to make that happen
* They argue and force each other to say that they don’t love each other anymore and then Mathieu leaves and finds Ivich in his flat and this is a critical second encounter where he angers her and ruins any chances of the relationship developing
* Lola bursts in and asks where Boris is accusing her boyfriend of the theft of 4,000 francs and she doesn’t believe it when Mathieu admits stealing the money and it is only resolved when Daniel walks in and hands the money back
* Daniel then tells Mathieu that he is going to marry Marcelle and they are going to have the baby but then follows that bombshell up with an admission that he is a homosexual – both bits of news are designed to anger Mathieu and they succeed in doing so
* But as Daniel leaves and Mathieu is left to his freedom he realises that he is nowhere near freedom and the last words are a confirmation that he has reached the age of reason
A review will follow shortly…