Good Reading : November 2014
WOM word of mouth The First True Lie Marina Mander Translated from the Italian by Stephen Twilley It was the cover that attracted me to this little book. At the bottom of it there is a cut-out of a tiny door. And standing within that tiny door is a silhouette of a very small boy. He looked so alone that I had to know his story. His name is Luca. He and his mum live together and have a very close relationship with each other. She is often tired and sad and sometimes depressed. One cold winter’s morning when Luca goes into his mum’s bedroom to say good morning, he finds that she isn’t moving. Luca is now alone. He’s always been taught to tell the truth, but if this truth is told he will be taken to an orphanage. So begins his pretend existence, his life of lies. At school everything is nor mal, so he must be extra vigilant to act normally as well. At home with his cat, Blue, he tries to ignore what lies behind the bedroom door. But how long can a small boy last, especially as his money starts to run out and a sickening smell creeps through the house? This story tugs at your heartstrings. Luca is just a child, but his voice, as he tells his story, has a maturity well beyond his age. This is not a comfortable read, and at times I desperately wanted to stop. But it was so compelling that I had to read to the very last word. ★★★★ Canongate $22.99 Reviewed by Merle Morcom The First True Lie Translated from the Twilley Ilittle book. At the bottom of it there is a cut-out of a tiny door. And standing within that tiny door is a silhouette of a very small boy. He looked About Marina Mander In a recent piece for The New York Times, Italian author Marina Mander wrote that her bookshelves seem to have the bad habit of eating books. She will put a book on the shelf, and when she goes looking for it soon afterwards she finds that it has vanished. So she ends up buying the same book not only twice, but sometimes three times.
December January 2015