But here is writing of a much later period in their lives, and although she occasionally dips into memories (such as of her father's infidelities) it is the present moment that holds precedence, and here her love for her mother and her concern for her welfare are of the utmost importance.
Terminal cancer is discovered and Beauvoir and her sister Poupette witness her dying moments. What also strikes here is Beauvoir's humanism, her anger with doctors who are forced needlessly, indeed inhumanely, to spin out a patient's misery when euthanasia would evidently have been a far better option for all concerned.
Very painful to read, but then it must have been very painful to write. However, if Sartre really did think this the best book Beauvoir had written, then I'm in absolute disagreement. Better, for instance, than Le Deuxième sexe – in it's original French form, of course, not Parshley's badly translated, heavily Anglicised, twenty-five per cent excised catastrophe? No.