TRAVEL & GEOGRAPHY

Hunting Party

Unnamed. Jul. 2018. 176p. tr. from French by Christiana Hills. ISBN 9781944700713. $16.99. LITERARY
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OrangeReviewStarIn this latest from Desarthe (Chez Moi), gentle Tristan, who was raised by a single, drug-addicted mother estranged from her posh family, has never quite fit in. Now he's moved to the French countryside with his wife, Emma, who encourages him to ingratiate himself with the neighbors by joining a hunting party. Disgusted by the hunt and full of dread—he knows he's there to pass some kind of test—Tristan inadvertently shoots a rabbit and hides it in his game bag, silently willing it to live. In a few pristine, entirely believable passages, he and the rabbit mentally exchange conversations, the rabbit a steady companion as Tristan rescues a fellow hunter who's fallen down a mineshaft, survives a sudden storm, learns shocking truths about his community, and finally passes the real test: he lets go of the past and proves himself to himself.
VERDICT Piercingly pitch-perfect; highly recommended.

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