For the fourth week of Deal Me In, I pulled the two of spades (seems a trend is developing) which brought me to “Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin. Set in the deep south somewhere around the time of the Civil War, it tells the story of Desiree, adopted daughter of Monsieur and Madame Valmonde, who marries Armand Aubigny and has a son. The story has a bit of a twist/surprise ending so I won’t spoil it here but it was an interesting read.
I’ve never read anything by the author before and her unique writing style makes you feel like you are reading a tale as opposed to feeling like you are part of the actual story. There’s a certain distance to her writing that does not really draw you in but rather keeps you at arms length. Despite this, I definitely felt shock and sadness by the end of the story. I did not know much about Chopin so I did some research and she was considered a strong feminist author in her day which is saying something as she was alive in the Civil War era and there were not too many strong feminist authors at that time. Given the racial tones of this story, this story probably would not be well-received today but you really have to understand the time period it was written to better appreciate the story.