Following the death of his wife almost 20 years ago, Yanis Marès was left to raise his son, Pierre, now a college student and aspiring writer. A cab driver, Yanis has been able to arrange his schedule to allow him to have a close relationship with Pierre; the two even have a shared love of deep-sea diving.
After a dive that leaves him exhausted, Pierre is diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. Father and son are plunged into a medical maze of doctors, surgery and treatment. As Yanis blames himself for missing the signs that Pierre was sick, he must also face his in-laws, causing him to re-visit the circumstances of his wife’s death. In addition, Yanis orchestrates a scheme that he believes will bring Pierre a sense of accomplishment before he dies.
Dumont masterfully captures the guilt, anger, fear and grief that surely come with every parent’s worst nightmare. We are there in the doctor’s office awaiting the diagnosis, dissecting every word, desperate for more information and ultimately asking ourselves how far we would go to give someone a feeling of fulfillment and peace in his or her final hours. ♦
— Review by Alice Meyer
‘Network Effect: A Murderbot Novel’
I might sound a bit quarantine-crazy when I tell you that the most relatable character I’ve read these past months is a sentient robot who has been programmed to kill. Paranoid, grouchy and more than a little confused by the humans in its life, Murderbot is quite simply a delight to read, even for a measly human.
Starting as a series of short stories — all worth reading by the way — the saga of Murderbot has taken the science fiction genre by storm with laugh-out-loud observations, sharp insights and a surprising range of emotional twists. It’s lovely writing, an unpredictable mystery, and far more uplifting than any book about an assassin should be.
What does it say about the world that so many have found a literary friend in the character of a killer robot? I think it’s a testament to Martha Wells’ ingenuity, skill and excellent sense of humor. It’s also probably a sign of the times, but let’s not read too much into it. Read this excellent book instead. ♦
— Review by Julie Goodrich