The Companion (Monique #2)
Victor Margueritte's MONIQUE trilogy (aka: Women in Progress) #2
Cover by Mike Hoffman
adapted by Brian Stableford
Annik gazed, dazedly, at the glazed door to the back room in which she had been born. An insipid odor had grabbed her by the throat: the taste of death that everything here exhaled, including the fat man with the cleaver stuck in his belt, whose belly swelled an apron stained with dark patches.
The Companion (1923) by Victor Margueritte is the second novel in the trilogy that begins with his 1922 controversial best-seller, The Bacheloress, and concludes with The Couple (1924).
In contrast to the victimized Monique Lerbier, heroine of The Bacheloress, who appears in this novel in a supporting role, Annik Raimber is, a staunch proto-feminist with unwavering integrity, who never comprises her principles. When confronted with marriage and a family, professional success, and security, but at the price of, alternately, subordination and subjugation, Annik resists, maintaining her optimism that she is on the right path toward self-fulfillment. But does her brand of fulfillment exist in a world of entrenched ideology?
The Companion is an exploration of both feminist self-direction and, more generally, the boundary between individuality and the pervading social norms. As its author, Margueritte, writes: "A logical consequence of my study of feminine mores, Le Compagnon claims, in fact, and loudly, the right to say everything, in accordance with the honest naturalist method."