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Madame Noel
FORWARD and brief synopsis: Madame Noel, A Novel by Jacques Magloire New York, 2014 "Only two weeks ago I was a happy mother and wife in my own house, my own bedroom with a view of the Citadel, and my own chicken running free in my backyard…now I have this. But I must do what I can for my children. God give me strength," said Madame Noël, at her debut at the open market. Of course, she was referring to the new career she was forced to embark on selling embroidered drapes and pillowcases. Her mother had tried to force dressmaking upon her, but she chose embroidery as her chosen profession. In those days, young girls prone to matrimony had the choice between embroidery and dressmaking, and must learn how to cook well. Ironically her plans at becoming a professional embroiderer did not materialize when she fell for a well-educated man, Nélaton Noël, who married her and gave her two wonderful children, Gabrielle, and Georges. In the middle of what seemed to have been a happy and contented life, adversity struck when Nélaton disappeared, supposedly ambushed and killed by his political enemies. The children in tow, she headed back to her mother's to live and endure her badger: "La Couture, Ma Fille, La Couture. Her first day the market, she was introduced to a circle of career merchants: Tocsel, a loud and harsh man with calloused hands, two unmarried women, Pauline and Dominique among others, who would eventually become her closest friends. (Chapter I: The Citadel) In the course of the novel, Madame Noël transforms from an impoverished artisan into a successful artist and later, metamorphosed into a militant with tremendous political influence. Would she have succeeded without Emmanuelle, the rich socialite who had exposed her talents and organized an art exhibit on her behalf (Chapter III: The Art Exhibit)? Of course, Madame Noël did not devote all of time to being successful. She educated her children through storytelling in those rare moments cuddling in the sisal couch after dinner. Madame Noël's legendary ability to influence people and delegate responsibility is well known. The Flag-bearing March, which she organized and financed entirely, is a testimony to her ability to lead an impressive number of people. In fact, this march was the most important, if not the single factor in the demise of the repressive regime (Chapter II: The Mountain Crest; Chapter III: The Flag Bearers). She managed to resist Tocsel's advances, not because of his shortcomings, rather because she was not sure her husband was dead. Rumors had it Nélaton had confronted his assailants and escaped with an injury to the US. The irony is Tocsel was the man she chose to get her husband out of his American jail and bring him home with the promise that if Nélaton were dead they would start dating right away. There was also Faitoute, the rich crop dealer, whom she was terribly attracted to but did not fall into his arms, again because of the uncertainty surrounding her husband's demise. Tocsel succeeded in bringing Nélaton home, sick, full of rage and bent on liberating the Haitian Republic of its thieves, its purveyors of death, unaware that the war against the oppressor had already been waged on his behalf. At the sound of a familiar tune Nélaton piped in his old flute, Madame Noël dropped the bowl of dough on the floor and rushed out in the torrential rain to meet him on top of the Lonesome Rock, where as young lovers they used to date. (Chapter IV: Homecoming). "What about the Chef Section, what had become of him," asked Nélaton. "He put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, I heard," replied Madame Noël. "And our land, our little house, and my two children?" "We had our land back, and the house too; the children aren't children anymore. They're having children on their own." "This guy Tocsel, what a loser; he called it a pissoir, our beautiful country, a pissoir. He said that the Americans come here just to piss, that's all." "He is a not exactly a refined individual, but he is a good man, a good American man. Tomorrow… tomorrow you'll see."