This is the first of four novels tracking the life of winsome, clever Claudine. The story opens with the famously familiar sentence: My name is Claudine, I live in Montigny; I was born there in 1884; I shall probably not die there. Claudine's certitude and confidence propels her through her life, and in Colette's hands, tells her story with vivacious detail. Claudine's school life is full of intrigues, and even the seemingly simple task of passing exams is lush with drama and excitement. Speaking with a voice wiser than her years, Claudine is a critical observer, and she uses her gifts of beauty and wit to further herself as needed.Although the Claudine novels were originally penned at the invitation of Colette's unscrupulous first husband, who was hoping for something scandalous to publish under his name, they do not lack depth, character development, or lyrical narrative. This is the kind of novel that deserves frequent rereading, and for those who haven't read it yet: do so now!