Thursday, 27 October 2011

Deforges, Régine "The Blue Bicycle"

Deforges, Régine "The Blue Bicycle" (French: La Bicyclette Bleue) - 1981

I thought this might be an interesting book, the description sounded good, a young French woman working for the Résistance during WWII with her blue bicyle.

However, I was shocked, the further I got into the book, the more I was convinced that I knew the book. It's practically the French "Gone with the Wind", the same story, the same scenes, just different names. Apparently there are now 10 parts, so maybe they also copied "Scarlett".

I wanted to know more about this and googled it. I found out that Margaret Mitchell's heirs had sued Ms. Deforges for plagiarism. Why they lost? It's beyond me, I suppose the judge has never read "Gone with the Wind".

From the back cover:From the back cover:
"'The little savage from Montillac' is what her suave lover Francois calls Lea, passionate heroine of this frankly lush, romantic novel of France during the war years 1939-1942. Daughter of a rich wine grower in Bordeaux, Lea sees her adored childhood sweetheart, Laurent, married to his cousin, namby-pamby Camille. Lea has lovers but never stops carrying the torch for Laurent, while tending pregnant Camille during Laurent's service at the front, holding down the family estate of Montillac, where Germans are billeted, and cycling through occupied checkpoints with messages for the Resistance. Deforges, a bestselling writer in France, gives us moving scenes of civilian panic and carnage and glimpses of Paris high life enjoyed by collaborators and black-marketeers. Radio broadcasts by the still unknown de Gaulle, and defeatist Petainhead of the Vichy puppet regimefire French patriotism and keep the underground going. Plenty of entertainment here, and echoes of Gone with the Wind, though it's hard to tell what lusty Lea sees in Laurent."

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