There is a recent movie based on Boris Vian’s novel, L’Écume des Jours, and conveniently, a new translation from the French titled Mood Indigo. Since the original was written in 1947 you might find references to such as James Bond books somewhat jarring but each of the translators has worked up the text so as to make it more approachable by modern audiences, especially in the United States. One would think Vian would approve of this, especially since all things American are good in his experience, especially Jazz.
François Mauriac is unquestionably one of the top fiction writers of the Twentieth Century and a very deserving Nobel laureate. One of his most widely admired works is the short novel, Thérèse Desqueyroux.
The story starts in medias res with the eponymous Frenchwoman on trial for attempting to poison her husband. Despite sufficient evidence including forged prescriptions, her husband testifies on her behalf and Thérèse is set free. But in a plot turn, the husband feels he must not allow any further chance of scandal to destroy the chances of his younger sister making a proper marriage, so Thérèse is forced to live under what we might call “house arrest,” only to be drug out periodically to suggest the masquerade of a happy marriage. But Thérèse is profoundly unhappy and her health declines on a diet of cigarettes and wine and a lack of human closeness and understanding.
Eventually the sister is married and Thérèse is released from her captivity to remake her life in Paris.