–Read India Initiative—
This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.
THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT
This was a thriller published in 1973 by William Morrow. It was made into a film in 1977.
This novel is set between the two World Wars. The main protagonist of this novel is Noelle Page. She is born into a poor family that lives in Marseille, France. Since childhood she is made to believe that she is better than everyone else. She is fancifully devoted to her shrewd father. Who capitalises on her beauty when she comes of age and forces her to be the mistress of Auguste Lanchon, a well off boutique owner. As a result of which she is forced to have sex with him. She then comes to an epiphany that if she can control men she can be powerful. She decides to escape to Paris, where she is enchanted by an American pilot Lawrence “Larry” Douglas. He promises to marry her upon return from London. But when he does not return she develops pneumonia, and is saved by a Jewish medical intern Israel Katz, who selflessly helps her get back on her feet.
Furious over Larry’s betrayal, she aborts their unborn child in the most painful manner. She then devotes the rest of her life planning revenge against him. Meanwhile, Larry returns to the United States and marries Catherine, but their relationship is somewhat strained after World War II, since Catherine feels Larry has changed after his return.
Noelle uses the ongoing war to her advantage. She hires a private investigator and learns of Larry and Catherine’s marriage. She seduces two men, actor-singer Philippe Sorel and director Armand Gautier, and becomes a popular name in theatre and films. At one point she risks her plan to help Israel—the only man who has treated her with kindness—escape to Africa from the Nazis. She attracts the attention of Constantin “Costa” Demiris, a powerful Greek tycoon whose business extends to every industry in the world. She becomes his mistress and moves to his private villa. Where, she learns that Larry is having a difficult time adjusting to a regular life and his aggressive pilot skills make him unsuited to a commercial airline setting, and convinces Demiris to hire him.
Soon, Larry and Catherine move to Greece for his new job, where, Noelle discovers that Larry does not even remember her. She treats him poorly as an employee, pushing him to angrily rape her when she emasculates him. She gets excited and falls in love with him again. Larry cannot recall her claims of their past, but stays with her for her power. However, he becomes unsettled when his co-pilot and his other mistress, Helena—two people compromising his and Noelle’s relationship—suddenly disappear.
Noelle insists that Larry and Catherine, whose marriage is at its lowest point, divorce so they can be together. When Catherine constantly refuses and fails an attempted suicide, Noelle plots to kill her. Larry abandons her in a sea cave on their trip, but is forced to return for her when the coast guard notices him exiting alone. Catherine tries to tell the doctor about Larry’s plot to kill her, but the doctor thinks she is hallucinating. Catherine wakes up in the middle of the night and overhears Larry and Noelle plotting her death and she escapes during a heavy thunderstorm. She goes into a boat, but falls overboard, apparently drowning.
Catherine’s claim against them leads Larry and Noelle to be put on trial for her murder. In all of this Demiris is noticeably absent, but he visits Noelle in jail. He claims to still love her and offers to pay the judge off if she will stay with him forever. Towards the end of the trial, Demiris’s lawyer, Napoleon Chotas, informs Larry, Noelle, and Larry’s lawyer Starvos that Demiris has made a deal with the judge: if they plead guilty, Larry will be banned from Greece and will serve a short sentence in America while Noelle’s passport will be taken and she will stay with him forever. They both agree to the deal. However, after pleading guilty, they realize that there was never a deal made when the judge thanks them for having a conscience and admitting to the murder despite the lack of evidence against them. Chotas offers Starvos a position in his firm in exchange for his silence. They are sentenced to death, and Demiris, sitting in the courtroom, looks pleased. They are executed months later.
In the end, Demiris donates money to a convent near the sea, where a woman implied to be Catherine is kept, having been found on the shore.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
Share it if you like it
Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:
NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION
Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)
IFSC code: BKID0006805
GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE
(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)
ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY
(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)
AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES
(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)
REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD
(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)
TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN
(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha
(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)