I finished this book a while ago and just haven't had time to post about it. I've been busy knitting desperately trying to get some Christmas presents done. I really haven't been doing much reading at all. I have started a 'knitting novel' for one of my December book clubs, though.
This novel by Emile Zola apparently caused quite a stir when it was first published in 1868. The novel tells the tragic story of Therese and her lover Laurent and the lengths that they go to in order to be together. For the time, the sex scenes were quite explicit, and the author was actually accused of pornography. I personally didn't think they were that explicit and don't think most people today would be offended by them. The Penguin Classics edition that I read contains a preface in which Zola defends his work against these accusations.
Therese is taken in by a woman after she is orphaned and is raised with the woman's sickly son, Camille. It's just assumed by all that the two will marry one day, which they do. The three live a relatively happy life until Camille brings a young man home with him one day. Laurent awakens feelings in Therese that she has never experienced before. The two begin an affair and become obsessed with possessing each other. This is not a sweet story of a forbidden love. Instead, it quickly turns into a very dark tale, and Therese and Laurent find themselves in a living nightmare.