Saturday, August 09, 2008
The Pull of the Ocean
This is why I love visiting the public library. This little gem of a book leaped off the shelves into my heart.
Yann Doutreleau is dragged home by Nathalie a social worker with the best intentions. He doesn't speak, at least not with words, so most people do not understand his wants and needs. One of Yann's older brothers (three sets of twins) tells the social worker that Yann's father threw his book bag down the well.
Upon arrival at the rundown homestead and meeting Yann's mother, Nathalie realizes that she has made a mistake. Yann's eyes tell her as much. Yann is yanked into the house and the door is firmly closed.
What follows is a person by person account of everyone who comes into contact with the seven Doutreleau boys on their quest to run away to the ocean. Tiny Yann, though the youngest, is the obvious leader of the group, and he leads his brothers out of their home into the rainy night.
From truckers, to writers, to nosey old women, to loafers, the story of the escape of the Doutreleau's comes forth.
Jean-Claude Mourlevat's Batchelder Award winning title is a gem of a story. This reworking of the Tom Thumb story is magically lyrical and sure to please. Each character as well as the French countryside come to life in the prose.