I’m going to start writing about something new on this blog: books!
Since childhood I’ve been an avid reader. There’s something great about picking up a book and getting lost in the storyline.
So I’d like to share some of my favourites with you.
I’ll try to write briefly about several works of an author in each post and hope that somebody will find something new and fun to read!
To begin, here is a little about the writing of Maxence Fermine.
L-R: The Beekeper, Snow, The Black Violin
These three books are Maxence Fermine’s colours trilogy. Originally written in French, they are published in English by Acorn Books.
This is the first of Fermine’s books that I read! I wouldn’t have picked it up, only the kanji on the cover interested me and then I was intrigued by the blurb.
Set in Japan in the late 19th century, it is the story of Yuko Akita, a young man reaching the time in his life where he must choose his vocation. His choice is to become a monk or a warrior--but Yuko wishes to be a poet.
But Yuko’s only ever writes haiku about snow (the book itself contains haiku). Yuko is sent to study with an old poet named Soseki.
After a difficult journey to where Soseki lives, Yuko discovers that the poet is blind, and finds out about the young Soseki: that he was in love, with a tightrope walker named Snow.
This book reads beautifully, capturing the essence and simplicity of haiku within the prose. At 100 pages long, it’s one of those brief, literary treasures that pops up only once in a while but leaves a definite mark in the reader’s memory.
The Black Violin
Another beautifully-written story with a romantic vein, this story is based around music (as you might have guessed!)
This time around, the tale is set in Italy in 1797. Reaching Venice with Napoleon’s army, violinist Johannes ends up boarding with Erasmus, an elderly violin-maker. One night, Erasmus tells Johannes of his life, and of ‘the Black Violin’. But Johannes becomes obsessed with the violin, and with finding the mysterious woman who saved his life when he was injured in battle.
Once more this is a short book, but that doesn’t at all detract from the storyline.
Beginning in France, 1885, The Beekeeper follows the journey of a young man named Aurelien. At twenty, Aurelien has decided to buy some hives and become a beekeeper, so that he could make honey. He would then be the only beekeeper in Langlade, and sell the best honey on Provence.
But as his aspirations begin to come to fruition, tragedy strikes. Following a dream, Aurelien sets off on a journey towards Africa, a journey upon which he meets a number of interesting people, including a woman with ‘skin the colour of honey.’
For this book, I’d like to share the first line, as I love it:
“Aurelien Rochefer was born in a painting of sun and light. A painting called Provence.”
This is the final book in the colours trilogy and also the longest, but it wraps the trilogy up nicely.
These three books are lovely reads and having been translated from the original French hasn’t taken away from their beauty.
If you only read one of these books, read: Snow. Of the three, I found it the most captivating.