Summary (Masterplots II: World Fiction Series)
The Ripening Seed explores the coming of age of its two main characters, Vinca Ferret, a fifteen-year-old French girl with “eyes the color of April showers,” and Phillipe Audebert, a sixteen-year-old French boy in the “full vigour” of youth and impatience. As the novel unfolds, the omniscient narrator moves back and forth between the thoughts and actions of Vinca and Phillipe, revealing slowly the changes which turn these childhood friends into neophyte adolescent lovers. This is the fifteenth summer that their families have spent together in a house on the coast of Brittany, and much that occurs is merely a continuation of the previous summers. Vinca and Phillipe spend their days shrimping in the cliffside tidal pools, swimming or fishing in the quiet waters along the beach, or hiking to their secret spots, where they can sit and talk, or dream of the future, away from their parents’ eyes. Underneath the familiar and comfortable routines of childhood, however, lurks an uneasiness. Knowing that they are fated to marry each other, they find the thought of waiting for five or six more years almost unbearable, and yet their lives are programmed for them: Phillipe must finish school and then enter his father’s business, while Vinca will stay at home and perfect her domestic role. Thus, while swimming, fishing, and hiking, they fall prey to melancholy, self-indulgent fantasies and romantic melodramas.
One day, something intrudes upon their...
(The entire section is 1464 words.)
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