La Belle Femme by Aine Greaney
Release Date: 21st December
Publisher: Pixel Hall Press
Told from opposite points of view, La Belle Femme follows Moira and Alan, both middle-aged, and both married to other people, who have used their every-other-month business trips to conduct a long-term illicit affair. During one rainy summer, Moira’s marriage implodes, while Alan and his wife suffer empty-nest syndrome. Unknown to the other, each decides to finally end their years’ long tryst. But after all these years,neither has a clue how to end it truthfully.
In La Belle Femme we are let into the lives of two very different couples. Firstly there’s Moira and Frank who we meet at the annual Galway Oyster Festival. Frank is a highly successful bank manager and although the pair seems happily married, what’s really under the surface tells a different story as it dawns on Moira that Frank is having an affair with one of his co-workers. As Frank is forced to reveal all it becomes clear that this affair has been going on for a year…but instead of feeling heartbroken, Moira feels somewhat satisfied because the affair that she’s been secretly conducting has been going on for many years more than that…
The second couple involved in La Belle Femme are Alan and Carolyn who are struggling to come to terms with their daughter departing for University. What will they do with themselves? Well, Alan’s answer to that is – concentrate on his marriage which means ending his secret affair, with none other than… you guessed it – Moira…
I have really grown to love short stories since I began book blogging and I found La Belle Femme to be a gem. Insightful, realistic and massively thought provoking, you can’t help but become engrossed as these two seemingly ‘normal’ people who have been conducting an affair of sorts for so many years, both attempt to bring things to a close. It’s fascinating to read about two people who are ultimately trying to do the same thing, yet don’t know quite how to go about it without straying from the truth. La Belle Femme really is a delightful read that will get you thinking about how our actions impact on the lives of so many others. The characters are well-formed and established, something which I imagine is not all that easy to achieve in such a short story, but Aine Greaney has created these characters and brought them to life with ease. This short story is the perfect way to spend ‘Celebrate Short Fiction Day’; it was made to be read and enjoyed today and if you’re going to download any short story this weekend then give this one a try…
A huge thank you to Pixel Hall Press for sending me a copy of La Belle Femme to read and review. ♥
You can find out more about Celebrate Short Fiction day by visiting their website.
An Irish native who now lives on Boston’s North Shore, Aine Greaney’s most recent writing recognitions include a Pushcart nomination and selection as a “notable” in Best American Essays 2013. Other writing awards and shortlists include the Hennessy Award for New Irish Writing, the Fish Anthology, the Rubery International Book Award, the Frank O’Connor Award, the Irish News Short Story Award and Indie Lit 2011. Aine is the author of four books (two novels, a short story chapbook collection and a book on writing). Her fifth book What Brought You Here? (a memoir) is a work-in-progress. In addition, her personal essays and short stories have been published in consumer and literary publications such as Salon.com, The Boston Globe Magazine, Forbes, The Daily Muse, Generation Emigration, The Irish Times, Writers Digest and Books by Women. In addition to writing, she presents and teaches at various conferences, book clubs, arts organizations and schools.