Paris in July: The Ripening Seed by Colette

The flowers to the right are sea-holly, a flower I have never seen before, possessing a blue which are the exact color of Vinca’s eyes. Yet Phil does not pick them for her, the girl that he has loved for as long as they both can remember.

He picks them instead for Mme Dallery, the Lady-in-white, the enchantress who seduces sixteen year old Philippe by first inviting him in to her home for orangeade. He feels he must reciprocate the hospitable gesture, and so he picks a bouquet of sea-holly to present to her. But then how quickly his innocence, his childhood, the unwavering trust given him by Vinca, is changed forever.

What would summer be without a love story, a beach, a novel translated from French? This little book is a mere 122 pages; you could read it in one evening as I have. But it carries the impact of Madame Bovary, another French novel of several hundred more pages, in which love is lost at the machinations of another.

Colette shows us how quickly the transformation to adulthood can take place, for after this particular summer neither Philippe nor Vinca will ever be the same.

Le Ble en Herbe, translated from the French as The Ripening Seed, was written by Colette in 1923. I have read it especially for Paris in July, so glad that I have, because nothing satisfies me in quite the same way as a classic does.

Spanish Lit Month, Paris in July: Something Old and Something New To Read

One of the great joys of blogging about books are the reading events of the summer. I speak particularly of Spanish Lit Month, hosted by Richard and Stu, as well as Paris In July hosted by Tamara.

I have begun La Regenta with Tom of Wuthering Expectations, but alas, my expectations lessen the further I read. I had high hopes of it resembling more of Madame Bovary and less of Spain’s boring theologians and their hierarchy. Perhaps I will continue, but if not, I am looking at these:


Albina and the Dog-Men by Alejandro Jodorowsky, translated from Spanish by Alfred Macadam. Restless Books site says:

From the psychomagical guru who brought you The Holy Mountain and Where the Bird Sings Best comes a supernatural love-and-horror story in which a beautiful albino giantess unleashes the slavering animal lurking inside the men of a small village.


I am one third of the way into Cathedral by the Sea by Idefonso Falcones, translated by Nick Caistor, which is set in 14th century at the height of the Inquisiton and describes the building of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona. It reminds me of Ken Follett’s Pillars of The Earth, which I think is a good thing.


For Paris in July I plan on reading this slim volume, Ripening Seed, by Collette. It is described here as thus:

The author captures that precious, painful moment when childhood retreats at the onslaught of dawning knowledge and desire. Philippe and Venca are childhood friends. In the days and nights of late summer on the Brittany coast, their deep-rooted love for each other loses its childhood simplicity.


Finally, there is a new release from Eleanor Brown, The Light of Paris. Popsugar says it’s:

“A charming novel about living life on your own terms that will make you long for the streets of Paris.”

Although, it doesn’t take much for me to long for the streets of Paris. A walk in Chicago has much the same effect, to tell you the truth. At any rate, these are a few titles I’m thinking of for July, before the (Wo)Man Booker Shadow reading begins with Frances and others. So glad for time off to enjoy my bookish passion.