Paris in the 1930s: Louis Grandeville has a beautiful wife, a nice home, a loyal servant, and a large circle of well-placed friends. His financial situation doesn't require him to work. Yet Louis is obsessed by the nagging reality that he never has and never will amount to anything. He believes his life is devoid of any affection or goal, filled instead with a thousand trifles intended to relieve its monotony, and populated with human beings he seeks out to avoid being alone but for whom he cares little.
Every few days for one winter, Louis writes down the details of his unhappy marriage. Although his wife, Madeleine, is the focal point of his journal, his painstakingly rendered analyses of her behavior tell us more about him than her, and about the harm two people can do to one another. Unsparing and insightful, A Winter's Journal remains one of the most devastating novels ever written on the self-destructive impulse present in all marriages.