BORN OF NO WOMAN by Franck Bouysse
Born of No Woman is a 359-page novel translated from the original French version into English by Lara Vergnaud. Franck Bouysse’s novel is intense, literary fiction and quite heavy subject matter, but ne which I read in a few days as the characters are interesting and you want to know what happens.
The story is set in nineteenth century France, where 28-year-old Father Gabriel goes to the local asylum to bless the body of a dead woman. While he is there, a nurse urges him to conceal the diaries of a woman called Rose and smuggle them out, which he does. Later reading these diaries, the story of Rose unfolds and that is the main focus of the book.
Rose leads an incredibly difficult life, beginning as a fourteen year old when he father sells her to the owners of a big house as a servant. But he never expects the horrors that occur there.
The book contains many distressing themes, including scenes of graphic violence and repeated rape. It is quite a depressing book to read, though the last few chapters do bring the ending to more of a happier one than I was expecting.
It is very well-written, each chapter from one character’s viewpoint, so you can see their feelings and understand their motivations. While it is a difficult read due to its dark themes, the story itself is told really well and you will feel for Rose especially and what to know how her story continues. It is also a novel that will make you think.
7.5 out of 10