Part 2, Chapter 1 Summary

The Grégoire property, La Piolaine, is two kilometers from Montsou. It was once part of a grand estate, but it is now smaller, surrounded by walls enclosing the orchard and kitchen garden. The fruits and vegetables grown here are known as the finest in the region. The avenue of foliage, three hundred meters long, is a visible landmark on an empty, barren plain.

This morning the Grégoires are up at eight o’clock, an hour earlier than usual, because an overnight storm has made them restless. He goes out to check for any damage, and she comes to the kitchen in her gown and slippers. She is a plump fifty-eight-year-old with a baby face and a continual look of surprise. She tells their cook of thirty years to start the...

(The entire section is 824 words.)