Later that night, having found the file containing Sarah’s papers, Bertrand confronts Julia. “You just can’t help it, can you?” he says. “You just can’t leave the past alone.” Julia and Bertrand argue, with Julia urging her husband to call his father and ask about the file. Bertrand eventually relents. “What happened to us?” he asks Julia before leaving the room. After Bertrand is gone, Julia finally begins to cry. Although he hears her sobs, Bertrand “[does] not come back.”
This chapter is important because it shows the long-brewing crisis in Julia’s marriage to Bertrand coming to its breaking point. It also reinforces the fact that silence is a deeply-rooted norm in the Tézac family, as Bertrand completely ignores both Julia’s plea for him to ask his father about Sarah, as well as Julia’s crying.