This novel by Marguerite Duras is written from a great distance and does not let the reader get close. The story focuses on a poor immigrant family living on the outskirts of Paris. The parents are neglectful and are also prone to drinking alcohol and acting out. The seven children are almost feral. They are left to fend for themselves outside, do not go to school and have an overwhelming fear of abandonment. It is all they know and they accept their lot in life. The oldest boy, Ernesto, has an innate intelligence that makes him the focus of the local school authorities but he has no wish to enrol in any educational facility and prefers to learn through a kind of osmosis. In the latter part of the book he has an incestuous affair with his sister although I believe they are still pre-teens.
It's a short book, I read it on a three hour flight, and I made no connection with any of the characters. I am not able to recommend it.