Two young sisters are separated and one is given the choice of living a life of sin and luxury, the other chooses to obey God and remain chaste. Everything bad that can happen happens to Justine, the pious sister and everything good that can happen happens to the sister who forsook God and embraced premarital sex, murder and sin. Well, so much for wondering about the origin of the term “sadism”. Sade certainly has such a way of describing sexual scenes that sometime made me look forward to the philosophical interludes he presents us; he was such a good writer that he made the reader linger on every juicy detail… until some get nauseous. It’s his peculiar way to give moral lessons… ok, this might sound contradictory, but it isn’t, not at all. Justine's attempts at reason towards her captors and their rebuttals and explanations were philosophical and demanding. This fascinated me at times, for it questioned concepts such as ‘virtue’ and ‘purpose’. I must say Sade was certainly a visionary, ironic, smart man and… probably the founder of pornography. Many people will disagree with me, but this novel is based too much on highly unlikely scenes that end up with highly predictable outcomes. Does that ring a bell to you? Well, that’s just why I couldn’t rate this novel with more than three stars. Moreover, the edition I own is embellished with some nice illustrations, accompanying the narrative.