Before Mona was “fake murdered,” she was laying in her bed reading a book called Le Grand Meaulnes, written by French author Alain-Fournier.The writers often give us clues about the story-line through props, so I decided to do some research on this book and it was VERY interesting.
I decided to do an in-depth summary and analysis of the book and its connections/parallels to Pretty Little Liars.
François Seurel is the narrator of the book. His father is the director of a school in a small village in France, where Francois is studying to become a TEACHER.
Below is a photo of the schoolhouse from the book…
Very similar to Radley Sanitarium….
A mysterious boy joins Francois’ class, named Augustin Meaulnes. One night, Meaulness went to pick up Fracois’ grandparents in a carraige. The next day the carriage returns but Meaulnes is nowhere to be found.
Meaulnes returns 3 days later wearing a marquis under his school uniform and acting strange.
Meaulnes tells Francois what happened: As he left home to pick up Francois’s grandparents he got lost and his HORSE ran away. He hurt his knee and decided to rest for the night in an abandoned sheep pen. In the morning he began walking again until he came to a mysterious estate where a magical costume party was being prepared. HE SEES WOMEN IN OLD FASHIONED CLOTHES.
Two men invite him to join the MASQUERADE BALL. Meaulnes disguised himself as a marquis.
Meaulness finds out that the party is being held for the son of the manor, Frantz de Galais, and his fiancé Valentine.
But Frantz arrives alone, and announces that Valentine no longer wants to marry him. He is heartbroken. He leaves the estate in despair with a note saying he is going to kill himself.
Meaulnes discovers a room where a young woman is PLAYING THE PIANO. She is Frantz’s sister, Yvonne.
Early the next morning he follows Yvonne ON TO A BOAT and they talk for the first time. He falls madly in love with her. Yvonne tells him not to follow her.
As Meaulnes gets into a carriage to go back home, he hears a gunshot and sees someone carrying a body.
Francois and Meaulnes decide to draw a map to try to find the mysterious estate.
One night they hear strange noises outside and go to investigate. They find a gypsy boy with a BANDAGE AROUND HIS HEAD and steals their map.
The following day the gypsy boy joins their class as a student and quickly becomes best friends with Francois and Meaulnes. He gives the stolen map back to Meaulnes with the missing parts now filled in. The three swear their allegiance to each other and the gypsy tells Meaulnes that Yvonne is in PARIS.
One day the gypsy boy PUTS ON A PERFORMANCE IN THE VILLAGE SQUARE.
At the end of the performance, the young gypsy pulls away his bandages revealing his identity as Frantz de Galais, Yvonne’s brother.
Ali’s “brother” Charles…….
A number of robberies have occurred throughout the village and the police arrive the next morning to arrest Frantz and his friend Ganache, but they leave just before the police arrive and Meaulnes loses the only hope he has of finding the mysterious castle where the party was held.
Meaulnes goes to Paris to try to find Yvonne but sends Francois a letter saying Yvonne is already married. A year and a half later, Meaulnes has still not returned, but Francois happens to find the address of the mysterious property. He contacts his uncle who lives in the village and finds out that Yvonne was never married. François meets Yvonne and learns that she has been in love with Meaulnes all these years.
Francois’ aunt tells him a strange story. One night last winter, as she was coming back from a party, she came upon a young woman in distress. She helped her and brought her to her home. The woman then left for Paris.
Francois’ uncle decides to throw a party and invites Meaulnes, Yvonne and François. At the party, Meaulnes finally sees Yvonne again. Although he is happy to see her, he realizes that nothing will be the same as it was before.
He questions Yvonne at length and learns that not only has the old manor been demolished (RADLEY WAS CHANGED INTO A HOTEL), but that in order to pay Franz’s debts, the family had to sell the boats and horses which Meaulnes remembered from the party.
Meaulnes falls into a destructive NOSTALGIA.
That night, through his tears he asks Yvonne to marry him.
Meaulnes and Yvonne get engaged and are married. On the day of the wedding they hear Frantz wailing in despair because he still has not found his fiancé Valentine. He reminds Meaulnes of their childhood friendship pledge to always help one another. Despite his love for his new bride, Yvonne, Meaulnes decides to leave with Frantz the next day in order to help him find Valentine. Yvonne remains home alone and François becomes her confidant and tries to comfort her.
The following year, Yvonne gives birth to a baby girl. She becomes sick, however, and dies of a cerebral embolism without ever having seen Meaulnes again. François moves into the estate and tries to figure out why Meaulnes really left. A few months later, Francois finds Meaulnes’ diary, and discovers what happened to Meaulnes when he went to Paris to search for Yvonne.
While searching for Yvonne, Meaulnes met a young woman and seduced her.
He later discovers that the woman is Valentine, Frantz’s fiancée. He felt horrible about his betrayal to Frantz and drove Valentine away rudely.
Later, feeling guilty about his treatment of her, he tried to find Valentine, but she was already gone.
In order to make amends to Frantz and Valentine, Meaulnes leaves Yvonne the day after his marriage to help Frantz find Valentine.
They return one year later, with Frantz and Valentine married.
Meaulnes takes his daughter and disappears forever, leaving François alone. The book ends with François musing “And I imagine him, in the night, wrapping his daughter in his coat, ready to take her on new adventures”.
As you can see there are COUNTLESS parallels to PLL. Very interesting…