At Fault Summary

At Fault Summary

Jerome Lafirme died and left an enormous plantation to his wife, Therese. Therese is obviously bereaved, but she is faced with many challenges. First, some people try to get cotton without her knowledge from the plantation. Second, a man called David Hosmer presents a sum of money to Therese in return for giving them permission to cut timber from her land for an agreed-on number of years.

The novel is fast forwarded one year, where Therese agreed on the deal and the business proved great success. Gregoire, Therese's nephew, and Melicent have a romantic day by the bayou. Therese and Hosmer meet often and it is seen that Hosmer loves Therese. During one their talks, they discuss one of the workers called Joçint, who is a troublemaker that Hosmer wants to fire but can't because there is a lack of workers at the mill.

Hosmer asks Therese if she would marry him because he loves her so much. Unfortunately, Therese doesn't approve, but she asks him to tell her the story of his previous wife and their divorce. Hosmer insists on showing Therese his absolute love for her, and she weakens in front of this and they kiss.

Hosmer visits his ex-wife, Fanny Larimore, and asks her to come with him to the South and get married again. He admitted that he had done mistakes in the past, which Therese pointed out to when he told her the story of his old life. After much hesitance, Fanny agrees. She is to move with Hosmer to the South and leave her neighborhood and friends. It is noticed that neither Hosmer nor Fanny is comfortable with the other; in fact, Hosmer admits in his mind that he hates Fanny, but decides to show her all the love and support he can.

Melicent is leaving Place de Bois (the place Therese and David are from), and Gregoire is heartbroken and cannot imagine how he is going to live without her. Fanny keeps crying for several days because she is not used to the new situation she is in, but Therese with her wise, sympathetic character is able to calm her.

Joçint burns the mill and successfully does that, but Gregoire kills him before Joçint burns more. Melicent no more talks to Gregoire after he killed Joçint, and she leaves without even talking to him. David is thinking of marrying Therese and leaving Fanny, telling Therese that he only married Fanny to please Therese and do as she told him.

A man arrives several days later and informs Therese that Gregoire was killed in another settlement. Some assumed he was drunk, others believed he intentionally used his gun. Everyone mourns Gregoire's death, and Melicent realises how much she loved Gregoire but how it was too late a realisation.

Fanny confronts David with the fact that she knows about his feelings for Therese. David gets very mad and holds a knife and threatens to kill her, but he doesn't. Fanny is now sure of the affair, so she leaves the house and goes to Marie Louis, where David follows her. The weather is so bad and suddenly Marie's house collapses in the water and Fanny drowns. A year later, David marries Therese and both live in Place de Bois.

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