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Solange from La page recommends

By Solange de La Page

PETIT PAYS by Gael Faye - Grasset

Gabriel, the Narrator, is ten years old, and has seven sister. The family lives in a privileged area, at the bottom of a peaceful street. Gabriel has four friends, "we spent our time fighting, but not to say, we loved each other like brothers." They smoke secretly, stealing mangoes, fish in the river... it's a free and happy childhood, Gabriel dreams that it is going to last forever.

But his parents get divorced, the war happens, how can he stay away from all the violence? How can he possibly remain a child while he brutally discovers that he is French, Rwandan and Tutsi, and ordered to choose his nationality? Books become his cocoon, a wall protecting him from the outside world, but soon Gabriel will understand that "there is no sanctuary on Earth."

And it is this lost paradise that Gaël Faye revived in his book, giving flesh and colour to the emotions and sensations of childhood.


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