My father tried to kill my mother one Sunday in June, in the early afternoon. So begins this haunting, painfully honest narrative, the true story of a single event that has resonated throughout the author's life. The outburst ended almost as quickly as it began, and her parents quickly resumed their normal routine. But the image of her father with one hand at her mother's neck and the other holding a hatchet cuts into Ernaux as surely as if she had been the victim. Though Shame begins as the story of a frightened 12-year-old girl, it completes the picture of her family that began with A Woman's Story and A Man's Place.