One of Zola's Three Cities Trilogy, Lourdes is a story surrounding the famous Catholic healing shrine in Southern France. Lourdes, in addition to telling the tales of many of the sick and dying pilgrims to the famous healing shrine, is also the story of doomed lovers, Pierre a priest who questions his faith, and his frail, sickly lover Marie de Geursaint, who, in finding a cure, perhaps, in the waters of Lourdes, becomes the book's heroine. Although Marie's triumphant cure is described glowingly, Pierre and the reader learn -- it is Marie who cured herself, not the holy waters of Lourdes -- and it is in that which lies Zola's message.
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