Thursday, August 25, 2016
At Fault by Kate Chopin
'Widowed at thirty, beautiful, resourceful Thérése Lafirme is left alone to run her Louisiana plantation. When Thérése falls in love with David Hosmer, a divorced businessman, her strong moral and religious convictions make it impossible for her to accept his marriage proposal. Her determined rejection sets the two on a tumultuous path that involves Hosmer's troubled former wife, Fanny.
At Fault is set in the post-Reconstruction rural south against a backdrop of economic devastation and simmering racial tensions. Written at the beginning of her career, it has parallels to Chaopin's own life and contains characters and themes that prefigure her later works, including The Awakening.'
This first book by Chopin address a familiar theme in The Awakening, balancing love and moral duty and a woman reconciling her own needs with those of the people she cares about. In this one the heroine chooses moral duty and religious conviction over her needs and that of the man she loves. In doing this she sets off a chain of events that ultimately cause more harm to those she loves than the good she intended.
I read The Awakening before this one. This novel is excellent and one of those that seems to grow better a few days after you read and think on it. But I think I liked The Awakening a little bit better.
My copy of this book is an old Penguin paperback with a lovely informative introduction by Bernard Koloski.