Bourdouxhe’s story is one of a woman driven to remedy her husband’s betrayal. The wife/woman of the title (“femmes” holds this double meaning, hence the artful choice not to choose which by using the title in the original French for the translation), seems compelled to behave just so in order to covertly manipulate her husband into tiring of the affair and back into embracing their marriage. Simply put: it’s a painful read. We want her to leave the cad.
Cara Benson reviews La Femme de Gilles by Madeleine Bourdouxhe.