Le Divorce Summary
Diane Johnson

Everything you need to understand or teach Le Divorce by Diane Johnson.

  • Le Divorce Summary & Study Guide

Le Divorce Summary

The novel is about a young woman's partial passage into adulthood. Because most of the events involve French people, French customs, and even French food, a second theme, Franco-American culture clash, is interwoven with the first.

A third theme is the ambiguous nature of human motives and emotions. Isabel's recognition of this is part of her matura tion, but it underlies the narrative so deeply that it can be seen as a separate theme.

When the story opens, Isabel Walker, a college dropout, has not yet found any direction for her life. She has vague ambitions of writing a screenplay. Like other young American visitors before her, she comes to Paris hoping it will "buff off the rough edges" of her education and make her more sophisticated. The visit is also a good way to avoid making decisions about her future. It is only by chance that Isabel...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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