Louis de Bernières
Vintage, 144 pages, €14.00
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was a publishing sensation more than 20 years ago and de Bernières has come nowhere close to matching its appeal in subsequent years. His latest, slim, book is a coming-of-age tale aimed at young adults.
City boy Mick suffers a double trauma: his father has died and his mother has been admitted to a psychiatric facility. He’s forced to live with his grandfather in the middle of the Australian outback. He struggles to adjust to the change of life — and to the strange ways of his work-hardened guardian. But finding an apparently lost puppy helps bring the boy out of his shell and foster a relationship with his grandfather, especially when a cyclone hits and the pair have to rely on each other.