Sunday 7 November 2010

A Man in Uniform

Finished November 7
A Man in Uniform by Kate Taylor
This novel is set in nineteenth-century Paris and revolves around the Dreyfuss Affair. Admittedly, I didn't actually know that much about this before I read the book, so besides getting entertained, I also learned a lot.
The main character here is Françoise Dubon, a lawyer who married into a family above his own social status. Both of his brothers-in-law are in the military, one as a Major and one as a Captain. Dubon was involved with the Communards in his youth, but that information is only known to his wife and a close friend. His early career as a lawyer included working to get Communards accepted back into society without restrictions, through an amnesty. He left that job, taking over his father's practice when he married.
Dubon also has a mistress, Madeleine, that he sees most weekdays between five and seven.
When a mysterious widow arrives at his office and asks him to work at identifying the true spy in an effort to get Dreyfuss an appeal, he finds himself agreeing, against his better judgment. His actions disrupt his personal life, put him into dangerous situations, and send the whole country talking.
The history is interesting. The character of Dubon is a complex one, with mixed motives. The story is a good one. All in all, a fascinating read.

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