A wealthy and notorious clan, the Bellefleurs live in a region not unlike the Adirondacks, in an enormous mansion on the shores of mythic Lake Noir. They own vast lands and profitable businesses, they employ their neighbors, and they influence the government. A prolific and eccentric group, they include several millionaires; a mass murderer; a spiritual seeker who climbs into the mountains looking for God; a wealthy noctambulist who dies of a chicken scratch; a baby, Germaine - the heroine of the novel - and her parents, Leah and Gideon. Written with a voluptuousness and immediacy unusual even for Oates, "Bellefleur" is widely regarded as one of her masterworks.
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arms asked baby beautiful began Bellefleur Manor blood Bromwell brother Bushkill's Ferry castle child Christabel clavichord Cornelia course cousin creature cried dark death Elvira Ewan Ewan's eyes face father feet fingers frightened Garnet Garth gazing Germaine Germaine's Gideon Bellefleur girl hair hand handsome Hawker Tempest head Henofer Hepatica Hiram horses Innisfail Jean-Pierre Jedediah killed kittens Kittery knew Lake Noir Lamentations of Jeremiah laughed Leah Leah's lefleur lips Little Goldie live looked Lord Dunraven Louis Mahalaleel Matilde Mink Creek morning mother Mount Blanc mountains murderers murmured Nautauga Falls never night Nightshade Norst once perhaps pond poor Powhatassie Raphael screamed seemed servants shoulders shouted sight simply skin smile sometimes stared suddenly tears things thought Tirpitz turned Varrell Vernon Veronica Violet voice whispered White Sulphur Springs wife woman Yolande young