Julia’s husband. Bertrand is very charming, with an “infectious laugh, a cross between a hyena and a saxophone.” He and Julia met at a discotheque when Julia was twenty-seven. Bertrand comes from a well-to-do French family, none of whom are pleased by his choice to wed an American. Bertrand himself often mocks Julia for her American sensibilities, which Julia has increasingly come to resent. Bertrand and Julia’s marriage is deeply strained, and when Julia becomes pregnant, Bertrand insists that another baby will ruin his life. By the end of the novel, Bertrand has become depressed, and he is hurt by the fact that Julia’s obsession with Sarah Starzynski’s story means that she hasn’t noticed what he’s “going through.” Overall, Bertrand is portrayed as a less-than-compassionate character who acts mostly out of careless selfishness. By the end of the novel, Bertrand has reunited with Amélie, his former mistress, with whom he had previously cheated on Julia.