Sunday, September 27, 2015

Boxes - Pascal Garnier

Pascal Garnier; Melanie Florence (translator)
Gallic, Oct 13 2015, $12.95
ISBN 9781910477045

Refusing to believe his beloved spouse died in a terrorist bombing, Brice the artist is frustrated and angry with his wife Emma for not being with him when Breton Removals arrive to take their stuff from their Lyons home to their rustic place in Valence.  Several days alone in Valence with almost nothing unpacked except for a few necessities, increasingly depressed Brice still waits for Emma to join him. 

As days become weeks, Brice rarely comes to the village, which adds an aura of mystery to Le Misanthrope.  Eventually he meets Blanche who lives alone since her dad died.  Her attraction to the newcomer spurs him to restart his recently on hold life; unaware what Blanche likes most about Brice is how much he looks like her late father.

Once again Pascal Garnier authors a very dark and gripping French middle class tragedy that as always provides insight into the downside of human relationships (see The Islanders, The A26, The Front Seat Passenger, and How’s the Pain?).  Character-driven by the “spiritual” needs of the lead couple, appropriately titled Boxes haunts Monsieur Garnier’s fans.

Harriet Klausner

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