Read La Femme de Gilles by Madeleine Bourdouxhe Faith Evans Online


La Femme de Gilles tells the story of a fatal love triangle—written on the eve of World War II.Set among the dusty lanes and rolling valleys of rural 1930s Belgium, La Femme de Gilles is the tale of a young mother, Elisa, whose world is overturned when she discovers that her husband, Gilles, has fallen in love with her younger sister, Victorine. Devastated, Elisa unravels.La Femme de Gilles tells the story of a fatal love triangle—written on the eve of World War II.Set among the dusty lanes and rolling valleys of rural 1930s Belgium, La Femme de Gilles is the tale of a young mother, Elisa, whose world is overturned when she discovers that her husband, Gilles, has fallen in love with her younger sister, Victorine. Devastated, Elisa unravels. As controlled as Elena Ferrante's The Days of Abandonment and as propulsive as Jenny Offill's Dept. of Speculation, La Femme de Gilles is a hauntingly contemporary story of desperation and lust and obsession, from an essential early-feminist writer.Just after her novel was first published in 1937, Madeleine Bourdouxhe disassociated herself from her publisher (which had been taken over by the Nazis) and spent most of World War II in Brussels, actively working for the resistance. Though she continued to write, her work was largely overlooked by history . . . until now....

Title : La Femme de Gilles
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780810111974
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 138 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

La Femme de Gilles Reviews

  • Manny
    2018-12-08 19:59

    If you've ever been unfaithful to anyone, this book will give you bad dreams.

  • notgettingenough
    2018-12-06 13:07

    I wonder how many people would not have lived the part of one character or another in this brief discourse on betrayal? The husband who suddenly discovers an overwhelming passion for his sister-in-law. The sister-in-law who takes what she can from this whilst insolently uncaring about the devastation she wrecks. And the central character herself, the wife, who suddenly realises from the most trivial of information, that her husband and her sister are at it.Rest here:https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpre...

  • Pat
    2018-12-05 13:38

    “Il desiderio nasce così, da un niente. Gilles vide una piccola bocca rossa che ogni tanto si apriva per lasciar passare la punta di una lingua su cui due dita posavano delicatamente un quadratino di carta, e osservava il tutto, immobile, attonito…”Basta quel niente a rompere la magia. Per Gilles inizia una passione travolgente, per Elisa un dramma immenso.Quella boccuccia rossa appartiene alla sorella di Elisa, Victorine, giovane, bella e golosa.Elisa ama Gilles di un amore assoluto, si annienta in lui, è il suo uomo, il padre delle due gemelle e della creatura che porta in grembo.A tal proposito, un passaggio mi colpisce: “Eppure questa donna, considerata madre per eccellenza, non ama il frutto del suo ventre con una carne e un cuore materni. I figli sono per lei la prosecuzione vivente di un amore, e valgono solo il quanto irradiazione della luce di questo amore... Figli generati dallo sposo e che vivono nella casa dello sposo...”.L’unico desiderio di Elisa è essere la donna di Gilles. Gilles è il suo mondo, la sua vita, il suo respiro.Quando scoprirà la relazione tra sua sorella e Gilles, lei accetterà, sopporterà con dolore, ascolterà in silenzio le confidenze e le confessioni di Gilles, arriverà a consolarlo e consigliarlo quando la capricciosa amante giocherà al gioco dell’amore con un altro uomo.E aspetterà.Come da un niente è nata, la relazione con Victorine, e come niente finirà.Elisa, ora, potrebbe fare qualunque cosa, cercare di ricostruire la propria vita familiare, lasciarlo per punizione, approfittare in qualche modo della debolezza del marito… invece la donna di Gilles ci riserverà un finale inaspettato.Un libro amaro, pubblicato nel 1937, che ci mette di fronte a questa storia di amore assoluto e malato. Tanto, che la protagonista arriva ad annientarsi e sopportare qualunque mortificazione, tanto da farle amare i figli semplicemente perché appendice del proprio amato.E mi viene da pensare che, anche se il mondo cammina, per certe donne rimane immobile, congelato e incatenato in schemi che non riescono a rompere, per troppo amore o per timore di proseguire il cammino senza una figura a fianco.

  • piperitapitta
    2018-11-30 16:43

    da rileggere,perché si legge in un soffio. E in un soffio scorre la vita della donna di Gilles e del suo amore per Gilles.[E da rivedere, aggiungo oggi, lo splendido film di Frédéric Fonteyn con la bellissima e bravissima Elisa-Emmanuelle Devos]

  • Elizabeth☮
    2018-11-18 19:44

    Elisa is completely in love with her husband, her children and the life they have together. The only problem is that her husband begins an affair with Elisa'a sister. And, well, life gets turned upside down. This is a story set in the 1930's, but really it could take place at any time. Elisa, unlike the vengeful women we see in 2017, accepts her husband's affair because she knows it won't last. He loves her. But things become increasingly complicated once he admits to his feelings for Elisa's sister. I think the introduction and the afterward are crucial reading to help contextualize the character and the author. I am so glad I came across this on my library's webpage.

  • Ali
    2018-12-07 13:57

    This beautifully written, sensual novella concerns the love a young wife has for her husband. Elisa, is a young working class wife, her husband Gilles; a factory worker, is her absolute world. She has two small daughters, twins, and is expecting her third child. The novel opens with Elisa anticipating her husband’s return, there is no doubting her continued passion for her husband, theirs is certainly not merely a day to day existence of chores and exhaustion. Elisa’s happiness is so soon to be over – as the novel opens she is content with her children, her kitchen, the domestic tasks she undertakes everyday while she waits for her man to come home to her. She is a woman in love, happy, sexually fulfilled.Full review:

  • Antonomasia
    2018-12-16 12:48

    I can't seem to write a review of this that I'd actually want to post on GR, but as there are a few of you on my friendslist who, in some comment or other, have mentioned an interest in fiction about marital infidelity, it seems worth drawing attention to this beautifully written novella from 1930s Belgium with a working class setting. (It's not the twee middle-class affair the cover and Daunt Books imprint might imply.)

  • Kobe Bryant
    2018-12-09 19:48

    Insanely emotional

  • Guille
    2018-11-18 16:55

    Solo quiero traer aquí un breve comentario para llamar la atención sobre esta novela. El argumento, como se puede leer en la sinopsis, no es nada del otro mundo: una infidelidad. Sin embargo, es una novela notable que puede llegar a sorprenderos. En primer lugar, el narrador se mete en el barro de cuerpo entero, se involucra en la historia, interpela a los personajes y toma un claro partido por la esposa, punto de vista desde el que se nos relata todo el drama, salvo en dos momentos cruciales. Toda la novela es la tragedia que vive la esposa. En muy pocas páginas se ventila la infidelidad, la sospecha de la misma y su confirmación. De la misma forma rápida se resuelve el desenlace (aviso que la sinopsis que del libro hace la propia editorial es un gran spoiler). Una novela cortita sobre el poder de la pasión y de los celos; de la ausencia absoluta de orgullo por un lado y la debilidad y la falta de escrúpulos por otro. Un relato sugerente, delicado y brutal, con comportamientos sorprendentes y hasta escandalosos.

  • Mientras Leo
    2018-12-15 14:39

    Me lo regalaron por sorpresa y ha resultado una lectura mfrancamente entretenida

  • Dena
    2018-12-12 15:46


  • Alicia Drake
    2018-12-05 15:05

    I loved this book. It is powerful and claustrophobic. It has a marvellous sense of place. Human desire, both physical and psychological, escalates into a ruthless and obsessional love.

  • Samir Rawas Sarayji
    2018-12-01 13:08

    A good story; the outcome at the ending fitted the story, but the suddenness of the event was jarring, the novella would have benefitted more with a build up to reflect the change in the protagonist's pain.Technically antiquated with several point of views other than the protagonist, which makes it convenient in the scenes where the protagonist is not present; however, considering there is much interior monologue as well, and the brevity of the book, the author could have executed it differently. Then again, it was her first novella...

  • Franci
    2018-12-13 20:02

    Scrittrice belga sconosciuta ai più ma citata da Simone de Beauvoir.Romanzo forte e straziante ma meraviglioso.La protagonista, Elisa, si annulla di fronte alla presenza, sia fisica che psicologica, del marito Gilles.Lei esiste solo per Gilles ed in funzione di Gilles. Elisa, da sola, vale meno che zero, una nullità. Tutto quello che fa nella sua vita lo fa solo ed esclusivamente per il marito.Se ne accorgerà soltanto quando scoprirà che Gilles è diventato l'amante di sua sorella. Da qui inizia un disfacimento totale della protagonista. Quello che sembra sconvolgerla non è tanto il tradimento, quanto l'accorgersi e il rendersi conto, che effettivamente la sua vita non vale nulla senza la presenza umana di suo marito ed è proprio questo a portarla all'estremo.

  • Collezionedistorie
    2018-11-30 13:02

    Elisa è una donna che ama troppo, ma altro modo di amare Gilles non lo conosce. Il suo mondo è Gilles: la sua figura robusta, le sue mani ruvide di operaio, la loro quotidianità, i loro bambini. Il mondo di Elisa va in pezzi davanti al tradimento di Gilles, davanti a Gilles che si innamora di un'altra -la cognata, come se non bastasse. Elisa ci prova, a rimettere a posto i cocci del suo mondo, ad aspettare che Gilles torni da lei, perché lei Gilles lo ama ancora, è ancora tutto il suo mondo. Ma l'ingranaggio si inceppa quando viene meno quell'amore; quando la sua ragion d'essere svanisce. Elisa era l'amore per Gilles; senza, non può più esistere.

  • Christelle
    2018-11-24 18:45

    Quel plaisir. Bon, au début j'avoue que j'avais l'impression de lire un de ces livres "traditionnels", un peu dans la même veine que Maria Chapdeleine, mais j'ai rapidement été capturée par la limpidité de l'écriture. Bien entendu, les féministes seraient outré(e)s! Pourtant, j'ai apprécié la simplicité des sentiments exprimés qui m'ont rendu perplexe à plusieurs occasion. Il faut se rendre jusqu'à la toute dernière page pour comprendre la douleur et l'angoisse de "la femme de Gilles". Les dernières pages présentent une analyse particulièrement intéressante.

  • Mariavittoria Giaroli
    2018-11-21 15:47

    Che dire? Un libro che travolge fin dalle prime pagine, che non ti lascia nemmeno respirare tra una riga e l'altra, che non vedi l'ora di sapere come andrà a finire. Tutto ciò che si sente in questa storia è come Élisa voglia abbandonarsi a Gilles, nonostante il marito si invaghisca della sorella, e come lei continui a credere nel suo amore disperato.La scrittrice ha uno stile che ti cattura e non ti lascia fino all'ultima parola del libro.

  • Sarah Dawidowski
    2018-12-04 12:40

    A surprising ending 👌🏼At times was a little difficult to follow due to it being translated

  • Andrew De Sousa
    2018-12-07 15:45


  • Lisa Serrano
    2018-12-03 18:07

    A fantastic find from an Independent Book Shop, Malvern Books in Austin, TX.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-03 13:52

    Read in one perfect cloudless day, perched uncomfortably on the warm edge of my seat overlooking the ocean, and this book still managed to devastate me.

  • JacquiWine
    2018-12-03 15:38

    La Femme de Gilles was Madeleine Bourdouxhe’s debut novel, first published in 1937 when the author was in her early thirties. It centres on a ménage à trois involving Gilles, his wife, Elisa, and her younger sister, Victorine, a timeless story of desire, selfless love and the pain these things can bring. Bourdouxhe was a contemporary of Simone de Beauvoir, who praised the novella for its subtle portrayal of the differences between male and female sexuality. An English translation first appeared in 1992, but Daunt Books have given it a new lease of life with this beautiful edition published last year.As the novella opens, we find Elisa ‘giddy with tenderness’ as she awaits Gilles’ arrival home from work at the local factory in the Belgian countryside. Deeply in love with her husband and expecting their third child, Elisa wants little more than to care for her family. In doing so, she strives to maintain as comfortable a home as possible. The opening scenes paint an idyllic picture, full of the simple pleasures of life:He is leaning out of the window again, his mind at once blank and spinning with small thoughts: Sunday tomorrow…the smell of the soup…the beauty of the flowers in the garden. Life is sweet. As he watches Elisa bathing his two little naked daughters in the setting sun, he feels at peace. (pg.9)Sadly for Elisa, it doesn’t take long for this harmonious existence to fall apart. Shortly before the birth of her baby, she begins to experience a vague sense of unease. Gilles appears unsettled in some way. At first Elisa puts it down to her own condition – after all everything is a little strange when one is heavily pregnant. But one evening, as Gilles is about to go out with Victorine (Elisa’s attractive younger sister), Elisa is a gripped by an acute sense of anxiety. With her back turned on Giles and Victorine, she rummages through her bag for some money.One by one she fixed her gaze on some of the objects around her, the things that made up her familiar world, then her eyes lit on her own hands as they closed the bag, and she saw they were trembling. Precisely at that moment Elisa knew that behind her back there was another world, a world that was complicated, threatening, unknown. She felt it to be so and she was certain she was not mistaken; she was also certain that it was absolutely essential not to turn round suddenly and confront it. (pg. 18)This quote is indicative of Elisa’s character. She realises that something is going on between Gilles and Victorine, but rather than addressing it directly, she chooses to remain silent and wait. Even though she is tormented by the thought of the affair, she follows Gilles when he goes out unexpectedly certain in the belief that he must be meeting Victorine. With each new discovery, Elisa hovers between a desperate fear of losing Gilles and a desire to cling to the hope that this phase will pass.There is that long sequence of days when she anxiously awaits Gilles’ return, days when she is always on the lookout for whatever affection he still feels for her, however small, days when she discovers that he hasn’t been seen at the place where he told her he was going. And there are the nights, indistinguishable from each other, when Gilles is asleep but her suffering keeps her wide awake. She moves her hands towards him, runs them over his skin, leans close to his face very quietly, so as not to wake him: she sniffs out unfamiliar smells on him like a ferreting cat. (pg. 59-60)At times, Elisa wonders if she should speak frankly to Gilles or to Victorine, to intervene in some way, but she is afraid of losing her husband. Even though the marriage is hanging by a thread, Gilles still comes home to Elisa. ‘As long as he is there, he’s still hers.’To read the rest of my review, please click here:

  • Crystal
    2018-11-22 20:42

    I am so in love with this book. I'm left awed. What a perfect, all-consuming tragedy.

  • Amy
    2018-12-10 16:57

    Elisa is married to Gilles; Gilles conducts an affair with Elisa's sister, Victorine. The story is really focused on Elisa, who is hopelessly devoted to her husband and has her happiness and peace of mind destroyed. Simply written but no less powerful for that.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-12-05 13:45

    This goes on my list of books every woman should own. The most gut-wrenching and lyrical portrayal of suffering.

  • Valérie Toussaint
    2018-12-18 14:03

    Parce que oui (!), il est possible de tomber amoureuse d'un livre. Jamais je n'ai connu une héroïne, Elisa, aussi charismatique, belle, touchante, aimante et par certains côtés agaçante. Jusqu'où peut-on aller par amour ? L'amour mérite-t-il toute l'abnégation et la "compréhension" dont Elisa va faire preuve envers Gilles ? Soit vous adorerez ce livre, vous adorerez vous glisser dans la tête d'Elisa et vous resterez sans voix. Soit vous allez détester Elisa, vous la trouverez lâche. Moi je l'ai aimée, passionnément. J'adore refermer un livre et être sous le choc, devoir prendre quelques minutes pour reprendre le cours de sa vie. Il m'a fallu de longues minutes pour me remettre de ce livre. Et je le lis, chaque année, toujours avec le même plaisir. Maturité, histoires vécues, etc. tout cela vous permet d'appréhender "La femme de Gilles" de manières différentes mais tout aussi riches.PS: je parlerai brièvement de l'adaptation cinéma de ce livre. A ne pas dénigrer, loin de là. Emmannuelle Devos est une Elisa parfaite, et Clovs Cornillac un Gilles détestable à souhait tandis que Laura Smet est délicieusement diabolique.

  • Maharet
    2018-12-18 15:04

    Elisa lo amava;non si sfugge a un simile amore....I capelli di bocca di Gilles...gli occhi di Gilles... "Siamo già in autunno!Come passano lente le ore!" Perchè quello che conta è il tempo del cuore. Bello questo romanzo,struggente,commovente,vero,delicata,dolce amaro...è la vita con le sue piccole gioie,le delu ... (continua) I capelli di bocca di Gilles...gli occhi di Gilles... "Siamo già in autunno!Come passano lente le ore!" Perchè quello che conta è il tempo del cuore. Bello questo romanzo,struggente,commovente,vero,delicata,dolce amaro...è la vita con le sue piccole gioie,le delusioni,i desideri proibiti,le paure.Uno stile semplice,coinvolgente,non puoi non sentirti vicina a Elisa,non puoi evitare di tifare per lei (e diciamolo,di voler dare due sberle alla sorella...) Consigliato!

  • εℓℓเε
    2018-12-05 16:46

    Qui il mio parere completo--> all'amore è come pensare al fuoco: è un qualcosa che riscalda, è luce che illumina, che può salvare e indicare la via se ci si trova in un corridoio buio. D'altra parte, però, il fuoco è un elemento che possiede un doppio volto ( come tutte le cose, aggiungerei): esso consuma e corrode, brucia lento e inesorabile. Distrugge.E se il fuoco è l'amore possiamo dunque affermare che esso sì salva, ma anche che molto spesso uccide.In questo tormento, in questo sentimento ambivalente che brucia come una fiamma, si dibatte Élisa, la protagonista de "La donna di Gilles", romanzo d'esordio capolavoro di Madeleine Bourdouxhe...

  • Susannah
    2018-11-30 19:04

    A beautifully written story about a rural housewife who loses her sense of self through a love so consuming that when that love is under threat, her identity and existence is as well.La Femme de Gilles brings into question what true love really means for a person, how a life can be destroyed by infidelity and makes you question how far you would go to preserve what you perceive as everything.Bourdouxhe's use language is besotting and poetic and she paints a beautiful picture of misery, betrayal, despair and resolution.You'll be angry with Gille's wife for the choices she makes, you'll feel empathy for her and wish what she wishes for her own sake and ultimately you will almost understand how she feels.A passionate read.

  • Irenelazia
    2018-12-17 13:41

    Elisa è un sottile involucro ricolmo del suo amore per Gilles. Tutto ciò che fa è in funzione di Gilles. I figli che gli ha dato sono il prolungamento di Gilles. Lei esiste in funzione di Gilles.Ma quando si accorge che per Gilles lei è solo la moglie, un pugnale si conficca nell'involucro, e l'amore di cui è ricolmo goccia a goccia esce senza che lei se ne renda conto. Fino a che, completamente svuotato, l'involucro collassa e smette di esistere.E' difficile comprendere Elisa, ma è impossibile non sentirsi straziati per lei.