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The Maid's Request

by Michele Desbordes

Patience is required to get the most out of this book, as not a lot happens in terms of external events. The action slowly unfolds, drawing you into a world of quiet contemplation, where life moves at the pace of the movement of the seasons and the rhythms of everyday domestic tasks.

Extract

She became more silent than ever, and her silence and averted glances said more than words would have done, they spoke of habit and resignation; within her there spoke everyone who sat silently by the windows and crossed their hands in their skirts, just as within him, whom she watched with a tired eye, there lived all the idiots. All they saw was a pitiful, wretched fragment of time, without beginning or end, for a long time before and a long time to come people like themselves would linger in a street or garden to watch an old donkey or an idiot, as they watched them saying to themselves that they were watching a donkey and an idiot of all the ages, changeless and eternal as the sky and the sun, the terrifying depths of the earth, unhappiness happiness.

Parallels

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
 

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