What is the summary of Break of Day by Colette?

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Break of Day is a novel by French author Colette which grew out of self-reflection following the breakup of her second marriage. The novel centers on a summer the author spent living alone in Provence, and explores themes of love and gaining independence from needing love. Stylistically, the novel is unusual and the plot is meandering, but its reflections on life and love are insightful.

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Break of Day is a novel by the French author Colette. She began writing the book in her early fifties after the breakup of her second marriage. The novel grew out of Colette's own period of self-assessment and reflection following the dissolution of her marriage.

The story revolves around the time she spent living alone during the summer in her house in Provence. Colette tells us that she is, for perhaps the first time in her life, trying "to live—or even die—without my life or death depending on love". This line signifies the broader theme of the novel, which covers reflections and current happenings that revolve around the concept of love and gaining independence from needing it.

For example, one important section of the novel focuses on Colette's good-looking neighbor Vial and a blonde named Helene Clement, who comes to visit the author. Vial ends up confronting Colette with his love for her. However, she angers him by trying to set him up with Helene. This shows how Colette's attitude towards love has changed. In the past, she may have jumped with the chance to fall in love with Vial.

The novel is stylistically bold. Its plot is meandering and lacks the concreteness you might expect from the average story. However, Colette more than makes up for this with her insightful reflections on the nature of love and life.

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