Chéri is a novel by Colette first published in French in 1920. The title character's true name is Fred Peloux, but he is known as Chéri to almost everyone, except, usually, to his wife. This novel was followed by a sequel, La Fin de Chéri, published in 1926.
The novel is about the separation of Chéri and his lover of six years, the much older Léa de Lonval (as the novel opens he is 25 and she is 49. The beginning of their relationship, when he was 19 and she 43, is recounted in a long flashback). The two believe their relationship is casual until they are separated by Chéri's marriage. It is only then they realize they have been in love. They spend a miserable six months apart, at which point Chéri appears at Léa's home. They spend the night together and Léa begins to plan their new life together. Having seen her in the morning light, Chéri notes how she has aged and realizes that the Léa he had longed for is gone. He leaves for the last time.