13, Rue Thérèse by Elena Mauli Shapiro

By Elena Mauli Shapiro

American educational Trevor Stratton discovers a field choked with artifacts from global conflict I as he settles into his new workplace in Paris. the photographs, letters, and items within the field relate to the lifetime of Louise Brunet, a feisty, fascinating Frenchwoman who lived via either global Wars.

As Trevor examines and files the relics the field bargains up, he starts off to visualize the tale of Louise Brunet's lifestyles: her love for a cousin who died within the warfare, her marriage to a guy who works for her father, and her allure to a neighbor in her construction at thirteen rue Thérèse. The extra time he spends with the gadgets although, the more true his imaginings of Louise's lifestyles turn into, and the extra he notices one other captivating Frenchwoman: Josianne, his clerk, who planted the field in his workplace within the first position, and with whom he unearths he's falling in love.

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He had not cried for some of his best friends—friends who died right in front of him—friends he did not have the courage to shoot in the face to end their suffering though they begged for it, as they knew the ambulance would not come in time for them. Some of the men are smiling for this picture, just a little. How are they doing that? They are so strong. That mincing fellow in the middle. You can tell just by the jaunty tilt of his cap and the limp wrist on his right leg, crossed tightly over the left—just from looking at this, you can tell the man is queer.

He has been doing this work for so many years that his hearing has lost sensitivity to the sound of the drills and sanders. It hardly even registers anymore. When he was young, the noise echoed in his head for hours after he got home. He could hear it as he went to sleep—even when he made love to his wife, so long ago. THE GREAT WAR IS receding; it is a new decade, and his daughter seems to be taking well to married life. It doesn’t escape his notice that the fellow she married looks strikingly like him.

I like to find the meanest, hardest teacher I have. I like to focus on the one who scares the hell out of all of us students. This year, it’s my Math teacher. He’s cold and never smiles. When he gets mad, he doesn’t yell, but he throws his chalk at us. He’s a terror. This man—his name is Dupont—this man Dupont, I go to him after class. After everyone leaves the room as fast as possible to go to lunch, I stay there for a little bit and ask him questions about the magical workings of the quadratic equation.

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