Books: French Foundling

THAT GIRL—Jacques Deval — Viking ($2).*

On France, the motherland, Foundling Marie Basilide lavished the love that her parents never stayed to receive. Motherland France did not reciprocate this love; the native peasant boys took it personally. From the boys Marie occasionally accepted small gifts—"a knife, a printed handkerchief, a ruler, or a tobacco pouch, but never a penny unless it had a hole in it."

When, at 16, she becomes pregnant, she steals 100 francs from the local post office and runs away to Bordeaux. There she miscarries the child, takes to prostitution as a starving bird takes to a cage. The...

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