Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A fine of two hundred francs (Triolet) 207

A fine of two hundred francs was ever so kindly lent to me by Hayley from Desperate Reader earlier in the year (or maybe even at the tail-end of last year), which makes it particularly shameful that it has taken me so long to get around to reading it. Somehow when I saw it it didn't appeal, but when I finally read it, I regretted this very much.

Triolet, the author, is an extremely interesting character from what I learned from the introduction, involved in the French resistance during the Second World War, and recieving an award for her involvement. And this in turn inspired the stories in A fine...; in fact they were originally published "underground".

There are three stories in the volume. The first, which I enjoyed most, tells the story of Juliette, a resistance worker, in chapters alternating between her working for the resistance and the time leading up to her moving into this sort of work. The second tells the story of an artist called Alexis Slavky, and was apparently modelled partly on the life of Matisse, and deals with his attempts to work under wartime conditions. The third deals with the experiences of Louise, another resistance worker, and her attempts to while away the time spent waiting .

(The title by the way is apparently the secret code used to signal the Allied Landings in Normandy)

So, what I loved about this book was its ability to shed light on yet another aspect of WW2, one that I was really not at all familiar with. And I'd recommend it to those wanting to know more about the French resistance.

It's only been published once by Virago with this original green cover.

Thank you again to Hayley for lending it to me!


  1. Thanks to you Verity, I went looking for this obscure title and found one at powells. It will happily sit alongside my other viragos.

  2. HJ Elliot - I do hope you enjoy it!