Albert Camus's The Stranger lives up to its title. The story in the first three chapters is odd, and some parts will make you stop for a minute and say "what?!" This was the reaction that I experienced when Meursault admits to himself that he doesn't know his mother's true age. During the funeral procession, Perez asks him, '"Was she old?' I answered, 'Fairly,' because I didn't know the exact number" (16).
In the beginning of the story, it is clear that Meursault is not very close with his mother, as he does not express any emotion concerning his mother's death. Details later on reveal that Meursault used to live with his mother, but had to put her in a nursing home in order to efficiently provide for himself. After their separation, he did not put in any effort in order to see his mother. Meursault's actions surrounding his mother and her death give the reader a sense of his odd personality, but at the same time it leaves the reader with questions. Maybe Meursault has an odd, estranged relationship with his mom, or maybe he cares about his mother so much that he is trying to block out any emotion in order to protect himself.