Lucy comme les chiens

Catherine Rey

Le Temps qu’il fait, Paris 2001

So sad, so deplorably sad. I couldn’t read this book without a physical reaction. It played too tightly on my heartstrings and in doing so left me revolted. Lucy is a dejected little shadow of a being and is used an abused in every way imaginable. This is not a book one reads for pleasure, nor is it a book to read for its moral significance. There is no lesson and there is nothing to take away from it. Just a story of abuse.

Stylistically, as a book set in country Australia and written in French it did take me a while to place the French speaking characters in the same setting as the English ones. I fluctuated between thinking of them as immigrants and finally as accepting them as Australians expressed though a French mind. Ultimately, this could have played an interesting part if the French spoken was a reflection of some character trait, but in the end those who spoke in English and those who spoke and thought in French were of the same tarred brush belonging to the same sick world. I can see this book much clearer as a play because the horror would be stylised and not as close as it is in an imaginary sense and perhaps the characters would be more fleshed out and in their physicality could in some way make up for their astringent and often inhuman actions.

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