Friday, 24 June 2011
Henri Troyat Explores a Family Drama in Les Eygletiere
Les Eygletiere are a French family, whom you definitely may envy. They have it all - a nice apartment in the center of Paris, a summer house in a nearby village, and vacations in foreign countries. They are rich, beautiful, smart, and powerful. Their life seems perfect, yet beneath the surface they are average people - torn by passions, doubts, love, lies, and betrayals.
The father - a successful lawyer, who has three children from his first marriage but is now enjoying life with his second wife - the much more younger and much more beautiful Carol. Yet what the old Eygletiere ingeniously believes is that women are on earth to be used, enjoyed, and then changed. His love affairs are numerous but at home he continues to appear as the perfect father and the perfect husband.
The oldest son - Jean Marc is a quite idealistic boy, who wants to study literature but fearful to disappoint his father he decided to follow his path and become a lawyer. Jean Marc doesn't take any risks until he falls in love with his stepmother. His life becomes torn between his respect for his father and his killing passion for Carol.
The daughter - the extremely religious virgin Francoise, who is engaged to be married to her boyfriend in 5 years. She is even-tempered, serious, and right-minded. Her life is devoted to doing the right thing at the right time until she steps out of the way - she begins a sexual affair with her Russian teacher. The girl is faced with the choice between her devotion to God and her passion for Alexander. Francoise's tender soul cannot bear the downfall and the degradation in her family as she discovers the secret of Jean Marc and she takes drastic measures.
The youngest son - the dreamer Daniel who wants to explore Africa and the Middle East, who seeks for adventures and risks, and who doesn't care much about studying. He is about to travel to the Ivory Coast in search for escapades.
The aunt - Madeleine is the fiduciary of her nephews. She has lost her husband years ago and along with him her desire to communicate with people. Madeleine likes things - she is an antiquarian living solely in a small village surrounded only by her old possessions. The struggles in the Les Eygletiere family however force her to return to the city and to engage in the family drama.
And Carol - the passionate and beautiful stepmother who knowingly seduces her stepson. The purpose in Carol's life is to be pretty and to be admired. She knows her husband is unfaithful but so is she. Carol without shame starts a sexual affair with Jean Marc and when confronted by Madeleine doesn't show the slightest regret or sorrow.
These are Les Eygletiere - beautiful and perfect on the outside but treacherous and dual on the inside. Henri Troyat is not only one of the best autobiographers in the world; he is also an incredible psychologist of the human mind. The French from Russian decent deeply goes into the human soul, analyzing the temptations in front of it and the struggle between what one should do and what one wants to do.