TRACES OF A WOMAN follows a multi-national cast of characters whose stories unfold in Portland, New York, Geneva, and Algiers from 1945 to the late 1950s. The pace is fueled by strong-willed American Eleanor Ashland, her rags-to-riches marriage to a Swiss aristocrat Peter Escher, and the couple’s inadvertent involvement in political intrigues in post-WW II Algiers.
Eleanor’s desire for personal independence and participation in the events of her day is thwarted by her conventional mother, her husband’s sister who believes Eleanor is a gold-digger, by an unscrupulous French businessman in Algiers, and by a leader of resistance to French rule in Algeria. She is also plagued by her husband’s desire that she have his child.
Defying local business conventions by hiring Arabs to run her business, Eleanor takes lovers as she wishes, including a belly dancer who serves as her mentor, and the resistance leader himself. Their alliance signals an ironic twist on Eleanor’s desire to be a player in the events that affect her.
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