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BookBrowse Reviews The Killer's Tears by Anne-Laure Bondoux

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The Killer's Tears

by Anne-Laure Bondoux

The Killer's Tears by Anne-Laure Bondoux X
The Killer's Tears by Anne-Laure Bondoux
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2006, 176 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2007, 176 pages

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An affecting fable-like style sustains this unusual story set in Chile. Older Teens/Adults

From the book jacket: On the afternoon when Angel Allegria arrives at the Poloverdos' farmhouse, he kills the farmer and his wife. But he spares their child, Paolo – a young boy who will claim this as the day on which he was born. Together the killer and the boy begin a new life on this remote and rugged stretch of land in Chile.

Then Luis Secunda, a well-to-do and educated fellow from the city descends upon them. Paolo is caught in the paternal rivalry between the two men. But life resumes its course . . . until circumstances force the three to leave the farm. In doing so, Angel and Luis confront their pasts as well as their inevitable destinies – destinies that profoundly shape Paolo’s own future.

Comment: The Killer's Tears won the 2004 Prix Sorcieres (the premiere French literary awards for young people's fiction) in the adolescent category, and is being marketed as a teen book in the US. It would be interesting to know whether, along with the award, the book achieved high sales in France amongst teenagers. If so, kudos to French teens, because it is a very dark little tale that would go over the heads of the many American teens who are more into magic than magical realism. However, for adult readers and for some older teens this redemptive tale of forgiveness and loss will strike a nerve and be remembered for some time to come.

"This spare but emotionally charged story is stylistically adult.... A lovely story for the right audience." - Kirkus.

"Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students." - KLIATT.

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in April 2006, and has been updated for the May 2007 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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