Author: Denis Thériault, Liedewy Hawke
Published by: Oneworld on March 14, 2017
Genres: General Fiction
Source: Publishers Group Canada
Book Rating: 8/10
Bilodo lives a solitary daily life, routinely completing his postal rounds every day and returning to his empty Montreal apartment. But he has found a way to break the cycle — Bilodo has taken to stealing people’s mail, steaming open the envelopes, and reading the letters inside. And so it is he comes across Ségolène’s letters. She is corresponding with Gaston, a master poet, and their letters are each composed of only three lines. They are writing each other haikus. The simplicity and elegance of their poems move Bilado and he begins to fall in love with her. But one day, out on his round, he witnesses a terrible and tragic accident. Just as Gaston is walking up to the post-box to mail his next haiku to Ségolène, he is hit by a car and dies on the side of the road. And so Bilodo makes an extraordinary decision — he will impersonate Gaston and continue to write to Ségolène under this guise. But how long can the deception continue for? Denis Thériault weaves a passionate and elegant tale, comic and tragic with a love story at its heart.
Unique, quirky and exceptionally thought-provoking!
This is a short but poignantly sweet story about a young, content postman by the name of Bilodo who lives a simple life by day and a much more exciting though deceptive life by night as he secretly indulges in the writings of strangers and the lives and love those letters express.
The prose is exquisitely descriptive. The imagery is beyond words with metaphors and similes that ignite all the senses. And the plot is truly a well-crafted love letter to Haiku poetry, Zen philosophy and Japanese culture from the symbolic, magical kimono to ‘ensō’ the circle representing creative enlightenment all the way to the sobering yet karmic ending.
This is ultimately a story about life, love and death and although the storyline as a whole is morally questionable the writing itself is so beautiful you can’t help but be engrossed, immersed and swept away in this poetic, fable-like, love story.
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Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.