Largely autobiographical, La Vagabonde recalls Colette's own years as a dance hall performer in turn of the century Paris, where she takes the listener backstage and into the demimonde of Renée Néré, an aging dancer, mime, and failed writer. Successfully evoking the excitement, the sounds, smells, tastes, textures, and colors of the Parisian dance hall, Renée describes her romance with her admirer, Maxime, and the downward slide of a young Piaf type singer named Jadin. The story follows the struggles of a woman who must choose between freedom and love. The story is told in a sultry, passionate, and intelligent voice. La Vagabonde contains all that is best in Colette: wisdom, vitality, and her astute observations on art, pleasure, and love.
"Ward presents the controlled, but deep, emotion of this woman struggling to release the pain and frustration of an abusive first marriage and to enjoy the almost painfully awkward ardor of her suitor." (AudioFile)
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