The Blood of Others by Simone de Beauvoir

“But what matters for us is the time in which we live”
ーThe Blood of Others ( Le Sang des autres), Simone de Beauvoir
I really enjoyed this book! What an emotional reading. A plot twisted love story in war time (German-occupied France) with existentialism and philosophy on love and life at the background. Although the writing style was quite challenging, telling story in two different perspectives, but it really rewarded at the end and I really appreciate de Beauvoir’s creative composition, I get to exercise my brain muscle for the time shifting narration. This book surprised me in so many ways especially “love”, I guess cuz I don’t read love story as much. With the two narrators, it’s really interesting to see the definition of relationship in two dimensions, from Hélène and Jean, a dramatic girlfriend and a boyfriend who was indecisive and unsure of himself, both trying to maintain the relationship, selves discovery and fighting for the war. There’re so many lessons to take away from Hélène’s point of view. Her character development is very interesting. At the end, I really respect who she became.

“Now she was no longer ever alone, no longer useless and lost under empty sky. She existed with him, with Marcel, with Madaleine, Laurent, Yvonne, with all the unknown human beings who slept in wooden huts and who never heard her name, with all those who longed for a different tomorrow, even with those who did not know how to long for anything. The shell had burst open; she existed for something, for someone. The whole earth was one fraternal unity.”

I’m still debating with myself whether I’ll see the film adaptation of this book or not. The Blood of Others (1984) directed by Claude Chabrol, starring Jodie Foster.


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