A charming, brief story of a person’s growth in language skills.
By wwgoss ‧ RELEASE DATE: N/A
Otto Pulaski’s family is full of secrets, so he is taken aback when his granddaughter Zadie, who is exploring her gender identity, asks him how he learned to speak French. He reminisces about his unconventional education, beginning with his teenage years when he was caught stealing a car and sent to a rehabilitation camp in Wisconsin. It was there that he met a Frenchman who taught him some French basics. Otto then recounts the various escapades that enabled him to learn more words and phrases, such as attends (wait). As Zadie and his daughter Kali ask questions, he talks about his crushes, the trouble he got into, and the places he has lived. He also explains the twists of fate that led him to multiple French speakers. The novel is a short but complex read, and Otto does not regret his choices. The structure of the book, which is based on a French word or phrase, works well and emphasizes the themes of a flawed man’s life and the people he encountered. There are some unresolved issues, such as the mysterious incident with Otto’s friend Bumper, but the story is surprisingly moving, especially the relationship between Otto and Zadie.
Pub Date: N/A
Page Count: 142
Review Posted Online: yesterday