Book summary: The Misunderstanding

2012 BY IRÈNE NÉMIROVSKY

A compelling story of infatuation, passion and self-destructive love

Yves Harteloup is a disappointed young man, scarred by the war. He returns for the summer to the rich, comfortable Atlantic resort of Hendaye, where he spent blissful childhood holidays. There he becomes infatuated by a beautiful, bored young woman, Denise, whose rich husband is often away on business. Intoxicated by summer nights and Yves’ intensity, Denise falls passionately in love, before the idyll has to end and Yves must return to his mundane office job. In the mournful Paris autumn their love founders on mutual misunderstanding and Denise is driven mad with desire and jealous suspicion until, acting on her sophisticated mother’s advice, she takes action...which she may regret forever.

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