Published on : 16th December, 2012
Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Source : Review copy received from Story Cartel
Pages : 66
Format : Ebook
Rating : 3.5 / 5
To buy the book visit Amazon
Goodreads Synopsis : In 1910, at only 12 years old Marie Delos leaves Paris for Montana with her mother, having arranged to meet up with a cousin. She tells the story of an incredibly hard life, in the middle of a spectacular and dangerous land. An unusual and fascinating narrative set within French and American history. Includes original pictures taken in 1911.
My view : There are some books that change you and some books that stay with you. This is one of those books that stays with you for a long, long time. I dived into this book blindfolded, with no expectations of any kind. However, as I proceeded with each line the story pulled me into it, so much so that I felt as if I was witnessing every single experience the characters of the book lived.
This is a memoir of a young girl from France called Marie Delos. It was originally written by Fred Pirat in French and later translated into English by Bonnie Samuels. I think what is astonishingly striking about the book is that Mr. Pirat has written it in the same manner a person would have told the story to his audience. Every page, every incident makes you its first hand witness. You can feel the exuberance and joyfulness of a young girl experiencing a different kind of life.
Marie, as a little girl, accompanied her mother to live with her cousin, Rene in the far-west, the state of Montana. Living in the ranches, taking care of the cattle, wild horses and leading the life that we now see, the cowboys in the movies leading, her life was more or less satisfied. The journey from France to New York and then via train to Miles City, Montana was in itself most gratifying. Being as young as she was, she never thought of her life as an adventure, on the contrary she thought it was the most natural way to live. This extraordinary life of an ordinary person described in the simplest way is what attracts the readers.
Later on, other events such as her schooling in a boarding, and then war marks the different pages of her life. Marie marries her cousin, Rene, and the family travels to Indo-China. We see the brutishness of colonialism through her eyes, how the servants were treated and poverty ruled the borderline. Crime and despair oppressed the colonised. After many years, when they go back to the Prairie, nothing seems to have changed much there, the ranches, the people, the loneliness, only motor cars were visible more often.
After reading a bunch of thrillers, mystery and adventure books this was like a soothing balm to all the tingling. It made me calm and peaceful and happy, the same way my grandmother’s tales would make me feel.
Let me know if there are any other books that made you feel in the same way.
(The views written here have not been influenced by any external source and are purely my own.)