by Emmanuelle DeVillepin
translated by Christopher Jon Delogu

Other Press
2018, 231 pp., $16.95

ISBN 978-1-59051-868-7

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This is an autobiography of sorts for Christiane, 86 years old, still with her wits and memories.

It’s also a character novel, filled with surprising dalliances, a family that is different from mine and yours and yet completely similar (in the array of typical personalities). DEVIL’S REWARD has a devil-may-care attitude about plot, however, and meanders through almost every type of situation that Christiane experiences, including a daughter, Catherine, who takes refuge at her mother’s home in Paris.

Christiane, like any mother, tries to rework her own daughter’s sensibility, like all mothers do. There is a line in the book that notes how different children can be -- completely, incorrigibly different -- and yet, we as parents keep believing that somehow, someway, we can change our kids’ thinking. That they are like us. They are from us, so they must be like us. Somehow. Someway.

But I suppose, in the end, they are probably not.