Julia watches her daughters play in the park, reflecting on the recent changes in her life. Julia gave birth prematurely and, shortly thereafter, Bertrand confessed that he was in love with Amélie and would be moving in with her. Mamé died a few months later. One day, Zoë voiced her mother’s thoughts, asking, “Mom, do we have to go live in the rue de Saintonge?” Julia said she’d rather not, and suggested a move to New York City instead.
Julia’s extreme reluctance to live in the rue de Saintonge apartment attests to the power of history and, yet again, to the way that memory becomes embedded in physical structures. This chapter is also significant because it depicts Julia’s relief, rather than anger, at hearing Bertrand’s confession, underscoring the sense of consolation that comes from breaking silence instead of keeping up a charade.