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Literature / Chéri

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Chéri is a novel by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette first published in French in 1920. The title character's true name is Fred Peloux, but he is known as Chéri to almost everyone. This novel was followed by a sequel, La Fin de Chéri, published in 1926. The novel has been adapted to film twice, in 1950 and 2009; as well as twice being adapted for television, in 1962 and 1973.

The plot follows the aftermath of the separation of Chéri and his lover of six years, Léa de Lonval. The two believe their relationship is casual until they are separated by Chéri's marriage, at which point they realize they are in love. They spend a miserable six months apart, at which point Chéri appears at Léa's home. They spend the night together and Léa begins to plan their new life. However, when she learns that Chéri had returned for the moral strength to be a husband, she gives him courage then releases him to return home.


Tropes associated with this work:

  • High-Class Call Girl: Léa de Lonval is a retired kept woman.
  • May–December Romance: At the beginning of the novel, Chéri is only 19, while Léa is 43. Their relationship is initially casual until separation makes them realize their feelings are stronger.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: The title character in the 2009 film adaptation is strongly implied to have had a threesome the previous night, at the beginning of the movie; two naked women are clearly visible in the bed he's getting out of.


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