Chapter 1 Summary
David Bourne and his wife, Catherine, are newlyweds spending their honeymoon on the Riviera in the south of France. It is spring, and they enjoy the leisurely pace of the seaside town—its history, its food, its Old-World conveniences. They are learning about each other’s habits and eccentricities, reveling in each other’s company. Catherine reflects that she always gets hungry after making love, which David says is only normal when one is in love. David comes up with plans on how to spend the day, claiming that he is the inventive type. Catherine says that she is the destructive type, warning David that she will destroy him.
The couple sits at the outdoor café, watching the people as the people watch them. They are dressed similarly and even look alike. People often mistake them for brother and sister. There are few other tourists, as this is before the Riviera built casinos and became such an attraction. Their casual dress sets them apart from the natives, but Catherine’s shorts provoke disapproval only from the local priest. They go to mass on Sundays, giving freely to the collection. The priest therefore does not say anything about Catherine’s shorts.
Catherine decides she will write a few letters and then later join David for some fishing. The waiter offers David special bait and promises to come later to help them. David fetches the fishing pole and goes out alone, without any luck. At last he hooks a sea bass, just as the waiter arrives to give him advice. David reels the fish in, walking it along the canal, drawing quite a crowd. Catherine sees him from her window and rushes down to help. He reels it in successfully to much fanfare from the crowd. The fish weighs fifteen pounds, so David decides to sell it since the sea bass is too big to cook for just the two of them. The restaurant ends up cooking the fish for the couple.
Catherine tells David that she has a surprise for him, but she will not yet...
(The entire section is 512 words.)