Le pénitencier ("The Prison" or "The Reformatory") resumes the narrative several months later. Antoine visits Jacques in the reformatory at Crouy, where he is disturbed by the boy's isolation and ill-treatment. Determined to rescue him, he confronts his father, who reacts with rage but is eventually persuaded to allow Jacques to be released and to live away from his father's roof under Antoine's supervision. Against his father's wishes, Antoine permits Jacques to see Daniel and his family, and the boys' friendship is renewed, though it becomes less intense. Jenny de Fontanin quickly takes a dislike to Jacques, who in the meantime has fallen in love with an Alsatian girl, Lisbeth, who is serving as the brothers' housekeeper and who, unbeknownst to Jacques, is having an affair with Antoine. Daniel, in the meantime, is attracted to his cousin Nicole (the daughter of Noémie), but she repulses his advances. Lisbeth and Jacques consummate their relationship.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roger Martin du Gard (1881-1958) was a French novelist and winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born in Paris and worked as a paleographer (the study of ancient literature) and an archivist. In his work as a writer, he brought a spirit of objectivity and regard for detail, and because of his concern with documentation and the relationship of social reality to individual development, his fiction has been linked with the realist and naturalist traditions of the 19th century. His sympathy for the humanist socialism and pacifism of Jean Jaurès is evident in his work. he is best known for his multi-volume work, "The Thibaults", which chronicles the life of two brothers who are raised in a well to do family and their experiences during the First Word War. (The Quest for Total Peace: The Political Thought of Roger Martin Du Gard)