The Ladies' Paradise: A Realistic Novel by Émile Zola

The Ladies' Paradise: A Realistic Novel

byÉmile Zola

Kobo ebook | May 9, 2017

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A Novel about the conflicting forces of love, loyalty and ambition.

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But Denise and the two boys hesitated before the darkness of the shop. Blinded by the clear light of the street, they could hardly see. Feeling their way with their feet with an instinctive fear of encountering some treacherous step, and clinging still closer together from this vague fear, the child continuing to hold the young girl’s skirts, and the big boy behind, they made their entry with a smiling, anxious grace. The clear morning light described the dark profile of their mourning clothes; an oblique ray of sunshine gilded their fair hair.

“Come in, come in,” repeated Baudu.

In a few brief sentences he explained the matter to his wife and daughter. The first was a little woman, eaten up with anaemia, quite white—white hair, white eyes, white lips. Geneviève, in whom her mother’s degenerateness appeared stronger still, had the debilitated, colourless appearance of a plant reared in the shade. However, her magnificent black hair, thick and heavy, marvellously vigorous for such a weak, poor soil, gave her a sad charm.

“Come in,” said both the women in their turn; “you are welcome.”

And they made Denise sit down behind a counter. Pépé immediately jumped up on his sister’s lap, whilst Jean leant against some wood-work beside her. Looking round the shop the new-comers began to take courage, their eyes getting used to the obscurity. Now they could see it, with its low and smoky ceiling, oaken counters bright with use, and old-fashioned drawers with strong iron fittings. Bales of goods reached to the beams above; the smell of linen and dyed stuffs—a sharp chemical smell—seemed intensified by the humidity of the floor. At the further end two young men and a young woman were putting away pieces of white flannel.

Title:The Ladies' Paradise: A Realistic NovelFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:May 9, 2017Publisher:T.M. Digital PublishingLanguage:English

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