‘[A] page-turner of a novel . . . I couldn’t put the book down’ – New York Times’A multi-viewpoint panorama of thwarted aspirations, spiced with breathy sex scenes and nostalgic detail.’ – Mail on SundayAugust 1992.
Fourteen-year-old Anthony and his cousin decide to steal a canoe to fight their all-consuming boredom on a lazy summer afternoon.
Their simple act of defiance will lead to Anthony’s first love and his first real summer – that one summer that comes to define everything that follows. Over four sultry summers in the 1990s, Anthony and his friends grow up in a France trapped between nostalgia and decline, decency and rage, desperate to escape their small town, the scarred countryside and grey council estates, in search of a more hopeful future. Nicolas Mathieu’s eloquent novel gives a pitch-perfect depiction of teenage angst.
Winner of the Prix Goncourt, it won praise for its portrayal of people living on the margins and shines a light on the struggles of French society today. ‘Deeply felt . . . An exceptional portrait of youth’ – Irish Times