La Neige en Deuil, by Henri Troyat. 195 pages. Paris: Flammarion, 1952. Price, 390 Fr. frs.
This is primarily a psychological novel, not a tale of mountain adventure, but it is unthinkable without its background of the French peasant’s home, the little village and its inhabitants, and the savage mountains that condition all their lives. The very moving story centers round a simple aging mountain guide and his devotion to his sheep, his home, and his good-for-nothing younger brother. We follow them on their last tragic climb and live through the hair- raising ascent of a rock face in November. The mountaineering part of the book is done with a masterly touch; the whole is a real work of art.