This book review will mark another milestone for this blog; my first review of a french novel. It is a short story compilation created by two different writers, one of which I have the pleasure of knowing today.
I came across this book after meeting one of its authors, Sophie Martin. This publication was part of a writing competition, where the winners had their stories published. Miss Martin was only a teenager at the time she wrote these stories, so they are not as polished as her present day work. It was a great opportunity to experience first hand the progress she has made since then.
***(POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT BEYOND THIS POINT)***
The four stories covered in this compilation are about youth and facing life challenges in different forms. The first is a girl coming to terms with the death of a family member, and what she would do if she met the killer. The second is a boy who discovers he is actually a descendant from a long line of vampires, and how he deals with the burdens of this new lifestyle. Then is the story of a young inuit brave who goes on a quest to save his dying mother. Finally, we have the time traveling squire, who leaves his native medieval village to travel to Europe during the second world war.
Back of the book: (Translated from original)
Changing the fate of humanity by meeting Albert Einstein, boarding the same school bus as an authentic vampire, trying to save his mother from the clutches of death and plunging into the future ... from the 15th century, now that is out of the ordinary. These unusual stories were conceived by two teenage girls who won the "Vents d'Ouest" Youth’s Literature Award. Candid freshness, the talent and imagination of Sophie Martin and Annie Millette abound in complete freedom. Their stories are of those that one dreams to believe, even if the unthinkable, on occasion, rubs off troubling historical facts.
Back of the book: (Original French)
Changer le sort de l'humanité en fréquentant Albert Einstein, monter à bord du même autobus scolaire qu'un authentique vampire, tenter d'extirper sa mère des griffes de la mort et plonger dans le futur... du XVe siècle, voilà qui sort de l'ordinaire. Ces nouvelles insolites ont été imaginées par deux adolescentes lauréates du « Prix littéraire jeunesse Vents d'Ouest ». D'une fraîcheur candide, le talent et l'imagination de Sophie Martin et d'Annie Millette foisonnent en toute liberté. Leurs histoires sont de celles que l'on rêve de croire, même si l'impensable côtoie, à l'occasion, des faits historiques troublants.
What I learned from this book
- Flow: Because french and english sound so differently, it has a veritable impact on how the story flows. I found that french sounded slightly more poetic in their descriptions, while english feels more appropriate when dealing with action scenes. Of course this may just be the style of the authors, so it will require more study.
- Experience: The book was originally written by teens, which was somewhat apparent in the story telling. The way the plots unfolded, and how ideas were conveyed showed a certain lack of experience compared to the present day work of the author.
This was the only published book I could find from Miss Martin and Miss Millette, furthermore their book was not widely published. The only reference I could find of it online is at this address:
However, you can find more of Sophie Martin’s work on the website of the creative writing group she is a member of. Those interested in learning more can find them here:
In closing, I would like to thank my readers for the encouragement they have shown me. And a special mention to Sophie Martin for giving me an inside look at her writing process.
Until next time!