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By Francis Chalifour

Nominated for the Governor General's Literary Awards 2005, (Children's Literature, Text)

Fifteen-year-old Francis’s father has dedicated suicide and not anything may be the related back. Suicide is gruesome, unglamorous, and it's by no means an answer. Its aftermath is dreadful.

At first, Francis feels a negative guilt. might he were a greater son? What if he hadn’t left his domestic in Montreal to head on a short vacation in long island the weekend it occurred? quickly the guilt turns to anger after which to a disappointment so profound that he thinks he can’t endure it.

After is the map of a 12 months following the suicide of a friend. during months, with the affection of his mom, with counseling, and with the balm of time, Francis takes his first steps towards coming to phrases along with his father’s – and his family’s – tragedy. After is very own, however it will resonate with an individual who has confronted the lack of a enjoyed one.

This exceptional autobiographical first novel is an acute research of the grieving strategy. even though it is steeped in Francis’s disappointment, it's finally a narrative of wish.

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Then I screwed the lid on and threw it within the lake. i used to be performed. “Let’s move home,” I acknowledged. That was once 5 years in the past. loads of water has flowed lower than Montréal’s bridges because then, however the great things, the Olympic Stadium, the smoked meat, and Mont-Royal are nonetheless there. I’m learning Political technological know-how at McGill college. I nonetheless paintings for Mr. Deli on weekends, and on the on line casino de Montréal on Thursday and Friday nights–I’m one of many croupiers on the poker desk. That’s how I pay my school. I nonetheless just like the similar track: U2, Nirvana, and Brel. a few issues don’t switch, and won’t ever switch. Like Luc. even supposing he’s growing to be up and should most likely be taller than me, he’ll continually by way of my little brother. He’s virtually 11 years outdated now. Time is going by way of so speedy. It hasn’t been effortless. There are very black days, yet lifestyles is extra strong after all than demise. Papa made a sad selection. He do not need given up on lifestyles. whilst I omit Papa, I stroll as much as Mont-Royal, or i'm going as much as the Saint-Joseph’s Oratory. I think him correct beside me, hearing what i need to inform him. To passersby I most likely seem like a nut who’s speaking to himself, yet I don’t care. It makes me consider strong, like rolling down my motor vehicle home windows on a sizzling summer’s evening and making a song besides the radio on the most sensible of my lungs. As for Maman, she left her place of work activity to develop into a landscapes so she will be able to scent the entire greenery she loves, particularly the cedars and the pines. Sputnik’s getting older now and he doesn’t chase Frisbees, yet he rides within the truck with Maman on a daily basis. Houston works for his father’s building corporation. He loves to get together much. I don’t see him as usually as I used to. Caroline took a yr off, and went to paintings at membership Med someplace within the Caribbean. they're the one ones who I nonetheless pay attention from. Jul went again to Ontario after that yr, yet I take into account her, in particular while I scent lily of the valley within the spring. Aunt Sophie married George. Her marriage ceremony gown was once eco-friendly, like his hat and the pistachio cake. They spent weeks education Spaetzle to be the hoop bearer. Luc and that i have been ushers. They’ve followed little red-haired boys. while Luc grew to become 8, I taught him tips to play poker. We made really a rite of it. Maman cleared off the kitchen desk, and we cracked open a brand new deck of playing cards. “Fish is for children. Now it’s time to teach you ways the grown-ups play. ” I fanned the playing cards out expertly. He watched, wordless, his cheeks choked with popcorn. i may see myself in him, sitting on the desk with Papa. “Always carry your playing cards with reference to you, with regards to your center. in case you don’t, the others can see them. in case you get a superb hand, inform your self that you’re fortunate, yet don’t brag approximately it. It’s what you do along with your playing cards that counts. ” i needed to teach Luc tips on how to play his playing cards good, to inform him that dishonest isn't worthy it, that existence is gorgeous, and royal instantly flushes are infrequent, yet exist for genuine. That life’s a video game, and having fun with it truly is ok. giggling is simply as vital as being critical. Card video games by no means final very lengthy besides. not anything lasts perpetually, both.

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