From the inside flap: As precise as surgery, this account narrates the universal pain of separation as experienced by a daughter in her relationship with her mother. The writting is swift, chilling and splendid.
When A Woman's Story was first published in France in 1988 the French press described it as "Intense... purifyng and spare.... a testimony of love and death... a confession" and " a novel of struggle which has the nobility of lost causes". Since then it has joined Ernaux other titles as a national bestseller.
As the book opens Ernaux mother has just died and the daughter must attend to the final arrangements. The author then works backward, seeking to understand the love, hate, tenderness, irritation and mute attachment which have molded their relationship.