I don't often award five star Goodreads ratings for books, but this charming novel from Denis Thériault (translated by Liedewy Hawke) is a beautifully written story for lovers of language.
Bilido is a postman immersed in his daily routines and somewhat oblivious to the world around him. During his solitary hours he steams open letters before delivering them, feeding off the stories contained within them. None are more treasured to Bilido than those from the beautiful Ségolène whose letters to her friend Gaston are filled with elegant lines of haiku. Little does Bilido know that he is on his way to becoming immersed in a life that does not belong to him.
For those who enjoy poetry the haiku in this book are reason enough to pick it up. As a reader I was seduced by Ségolène's poetry in much the same way Bilido is. As the story unfolds, we see Bilido discover the art of writing poetry and the way in which it comes to completely take over his life.
Richly layered with philosophical musings on love and romance, and the complicated relationship between fantasy and reality, I could see this elegant tale becoming a modern classic, an accolade it definitely deserves.
Buy the book: The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman
Friday, 12 September 2014