Léa de Lonval is an aging courtesan, a once famous beauty facing the end of her sexual career. She is also facing the end of her most intense love affair, with Fred Peloux—known as Chéri—a playboy half her age.
This is absolute classic Colette: sensuous, beautifully-written, very French. The evocation of a lost world of boudoirs, silk and satin, pearls and servants is precise and wonderful. But Colette is ultimately concerned with the human heart and the transgressive emotions it might shelter. Lea and Cheri know what they ought to do, what is the sensible and 'right' thing to do, and yet they don't do it.