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The Sacrifice is the first work of fiction of Indrajit Garai. However, he already published non-fiction books about ayurveda. I discovered this book through Estelle who is his most devoted reader. If you want to know more about the author, you can check her website. She made me curious about the book and I decided to buy and read it
The book is composed of three short stories: The Move, The Listener and the Sacrifice.
The Move is about Guillaume, a farmer facing financial difficulties. Guillaume lives alone with his son Hugo as the mother of the child left them. Guillaume’s parents died some time ago so Hugo lost his grandparents too. At school, Hugo spends most of his time with his best friend Louis whose mother Anais has a complicated friendship with Guillaume. At home, he spends time with the farm animals: his dog Mustand, Belinda the cow, and Old Billy the goat. Guillaume is worried for his son and tries to avoid any brutal change in his life. But as the fluctuations of the price of milk make it more and more difficult for farmers to survive, Guillaume has to make choices. What will happen to Guillaume’s farm and family?
The Listener is about Mathew, a young boy who is feeling like he is losing everything that counts for him. He is losing his best friend Jerome who is progressively changing and turning to a delinquent. He feels he is losing his mother as she began dating Thierry, who is a teacher at Mathew’s school. Mathew only finds peace in a small spot of the forest, under a beautiful old tree. As the forest office plans to cut the tree, Mathew feels like he is losing the last important thing in his life and he decides to fight back.
The Sacrifice is about Francois and his grandson Arthur. Francois is a writer who used to be very successful in his youth but whose last books did not sell. He is facing serious financial difficulties. He has written a new book that could be a success but his relationship with his editor is now so bad that he can’t publish it yet. However, Francois does not complain. He still tries to always see the beauty in life. Francois feels grateful for Arthur’s presence in his life. He would do anything he can to make him happy. Even if he has to sacrifice himself.
My opinion on the book
What I liked best about the book is the way the author makes you care about the characters. The characters of the story are good people who are confronted to very difficult events. They could become bitter and discouraged but they don’t. They are fighting for those they love. When I read the stories, I could not help loving the characters and wanting to know how the story would end.
The third story, The Sacrifice, gives an interesting insight in the author’s view of literature. Francois, the writer of the story, thinks that literature should lift the mind, he does not paint a rosy world in his books but he does not exaggerate the dangers of the world either. He shows characters that live fully, that strive and thrive and keep their dignity even in death. As his grandson Arthur says, his books make the reader feel like going out and face the world as it is.
My favorite story was The Listener, because I found the relationship between Mathew and his mother interesting. It made me wonder how I would act if I was in the same situation as Mathew’s mother. This is also the story where the characters are least able to control their feelings. I love the two other stories but I felt sometimes the characters were somehow a little too much in control. However, all three stories made me think about my life and realize that I sometimes forget to see how beautiful the world is and how lucky I am.