Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Bridget Jones of 60s or “The lady in the car in glasses and a gun”

This story by Sebastien Japrisot is considered to be a thriller. But I would call it a "kind" thriller if a thriller can be kind at all. Perhaps, the word “soft” would be more appropriate. It was written in the charming sixties when the aggression in literature and movies, as well as the amount of sugar in food, were not as now.

I would call the main character Bridget Jones of 60s and I wonder what you think of her?

She is the most delicate and vulnerable Blondie whom I met in the literature. Her name is Dany, she is French and an orphan.  She is twenty-six years old on papers; however she feels herself as eleven years old. She is a good looking girl, but her self-esteem is very low. Her movements are unsteady and she wears glasses behind which she hides her vulnerable soul. Dany is not adapted to life. She is not even able to organize her holidays, so she sunbathes at home under a special lamp regardless of the harmfulness of such an invention. Her only advantage is the ability to stay silent. And her only relationship with a man ended badly a few years ago.

One day, her boss, the owner of an advertising agency, asks her to do him a favor - to type a report that he needs the next day for an important meeting in Switzerland. The boss's wife, Anita, is Dany’s friend. Dany agrees to help the boss; she stays at his home typing the report until very late and then goes to sleep. The next morning, the boss tells Dany to take him and his family (Anita + the daughter) to the airport, drive back and leave the car in the garage. Needless to say Dany never drove such a luxurious car (white Thunderbird). After the airport, Dany, instead of driving back to Paris, decides to go to the sea that she has never seen before.

The decision to go to the seacoast was a surprise even to Dany. However, everything that happens afterwards surpasses her expectations... Some people assure her that they saw her the previous day; one woman says that Dany left her coat at her place and on the top it all, Dany is attacked in a toilet at a service station; the attacker breaks her left arm on purpose.  What for? Nobody believes that a woman in white, they saw the previous day, was not Dany and that drives Dany crazy. They say that when you get crazy you think that those around you are crazy...

The book is in the form of a monologue of a gentle creature, and you, together with Dany, walk awkwardly, always stumbling, towards the end. I have to say she got out of trouble with dignity. If you're a fan of puzzles, this book is not for you, the beauty of the story is in the development of the character.

I also liked the story because it is a great insight into the sixties. Dany is in a white suit, a scarf on her head is of the same color as the sea, which she never saw, and she drives a Thunderbird. I find that Bridget Jones of 60s is much more elegant than Bridget Jones of 90s.  Here is my mood board of the story. What do you think of it?

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