'Therese Desqueyroux' by Francois Mauriac
Thérèse Desqueyroux
By François Mauriac

When people ask if there's a character I'd really like to play in a movie, I always think of this French heroine. The book is a psychological portrait of a woman who may have poisoned her husband. Her mother died when she was young, her husband doesn't love her, and—like all of us—she has a friend who's younger, blonder, thinner, and makes her feel awful and ugly. Mauriac has created a fully formed character. At points, you really dislike her (and she despises herself), but you also realize she's far too bright for her circumstances and completely misunderstood. I love books that go through the past and rehash it from different perspectives, stories in which you're forced to change your mind about a person from one minute to the next.

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