Grand Central, 2014 (2014)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
he Stone Boy
by Sophie Loubiere (and translated from the French by Nora Mahony) presents an intriguing story – one that lingers after the last page is read. Madame Préau, after a number of years in a convalescent home, returns to her own home in Paris, to live there on her own, with weekly visits from her married son. Madame Préau does not get along with her daughter-in-law, so sees her very seldom.
adame Préau keeps to a fixed schedule, such as shopping on a certain day of the week always. Other purchases are made in the same fashion. Isabel comes in during the day to do the housekeeping that Madame Préau now, at her age, can no longer manage.
here is a question about her beloved grandson Bastion. Madame Préau notices that when a boy and a girl play together out in the yard next door, that a third child sits by himself and plays in the dirt collecting stones. He looks abused. She is sure that the child does not go to school and so informs the authorities. But the neighbors deny the child's existence. Is he the product of an unstable mind?
he story is too delicious for me to tell you any more of the well-thought out plot of this intense novel. There is never a misplaced or errant word. While you realize that Madame Préau might not have all her marbles, she uses the ones she has superbly. What seem like missing pieces all finally fall into place to complete a truly wonderful read.
uthor Loubiere is a novelist as well as a journalist and radio producer. She won two prestigious awards for
The Stone Boy
as well as a prize for her radio work. A busy lady.
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