At the end of Cheri the young Cheri left his aging mistress Lea on the eve of his marriage. Having served in the army during the war Cheri returns to Paris haunted by memories of his carefree youth and the bounty of his benevolent mistress. In the post-war 1920's he finds it impossible to settle down to a new life with his efficient and entrepreneurial wife and friends.
As his looks and his reputation begin to deteriorate Cheri's life is thrown into crisis as he attempts to recapture the contentment and companionship of his luxurious youth. As Cheri and Lea confront each other, and the changes a decade has wrought on their lives and their looks, Colette displays the incredible sensitivity and insight for which she is justly famous.
Colette, the creator of Claudine, Cheri and Gigi, and one of France's outstanding writers, had a long, varied and active life. She was born in Burgundy on 1873 into a home overflowing with dogs, cats and children, and educated at the local village school. At the age of twenty she moved to Paris with her first husband, the notorious writer and critic Henry Gauthiers-Viller (Willy). By locking her in her room, Willy forced Collette to write her first novels (the Claudine sequence), which he published under his name. They were an instant success. Colettte left Willy in 1906 and worked in music-halls as an actor and dancer. She had a love affair with Napoleon's niece, married twice more, had a baby at 40 and at 47. Her writing, which included novels, portraits, essays and a large body of autobiographical prose, was admired by Proust and Gide. She was the first woman President of the Academie Goncourt, and when she died, aged 81, she was given a state funeral and buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.