Ennemonde by Jean Giono / ISBN 9781953861122 / 171-page small paperback with flaps from Archipelago
One of the final novellas by the acclaimed French writer Jean Giono, Ennemonde is a fierce and jubilant portrait of a life intensely lived
Ennemonde Girard: Obese. Toothless. Razor-sharp. Loving mother and murderous wife: a character like none other in literature. In telling us Ennemonde’s astounding story of undetected crimes, Jean Giono immerses us in the perverse and often lurid lifeways of the people of the High Country, where vengeance is an art form, hearts are superfluous, and only boldness and cunning such as Ennemonde’s can win the day. A gleeful, broad sardonic grin of a novel.
"Roads move cautiously around the High Country..." So begins the story of Ennemonde, but also of her sons, daughters, neighbors, lovers, and enemies, and especially of the mountains that stand guard behind their home in the Camargue. This is a place of stark and terrifying beauty, where violence strikes suddenly, whether from the hand of a neighbor or from the sky itself.
Giono captures every wrinkle, glare, and glance with wry delight, celebrating the uniquely tough people whose eyes sparkle with the cruel majesty of the landscape. Full of delectable detours and startling insights, Ennemonde will take you by the hand for an unforgettable tour of this master novelist's singular world.