Summary and Analysis
Vianne begins having nightmares in which Von Richter realizes that Ari (“Daniel”) is Jewish. She is also racked with guilt for killing Beck.
Isabelle wakes up from her delirium to find Gaëtan still with her. She remembers him kissing her and realizes that he loves her. He continues to insist that they can’t be together because of the war. After a bath, Isabelle takes off her towel in front of him and approaches him naked. They kiss. Gaëtan tells her she will be sorry for doing this, but Isabelle is sure she won’t. Gaëtan says he already regrets it as they continue kissing.
The lines between love and regret blur in this chapter. Gaëtan is full of desire for Isabelle, but he is sure that love can only bring regret during wartime because it risks hurting people. Isabelle, in contrast, insists war makes love more urgent. Her greatest regret would be postponing her love for Gaëtan when she knows that her own future is not guaranteed.
Vianne and Isabelle have regrets about the ways they have failed to show familial love for each other in spite of the depths of that love. While the war has made it more difficult to show love, Isabelle realizes that she and her sister have always struggled to express love. Now, with the war separating them, Isabelle believes that the best way they can demonstrate their love is by regretting their past mistakes.