2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 260 books.

Book Review: A Hundred Million Years and A Day by Jean-Baptiste Andrea

This was a beautiful tale that I fell in love with at the opening pages. Stan’s quest captured my imagination and Andrea’s ability to weave a magical story out of difficulty and strife amazed me throughout. There were so many stunning (and deceptively simple) insights that resonated on multiple levels with me; my life bears no resemblance to Stan’s, but I felt like I had found a kindred spirit nevertheless because the internal journey he takes throughout the course of the novel (from childhood to adulthood in flashbacks, as well as in the contemporary storyline) is so universal. The emotional range of this (again deceptively) short book was incredible; it stands as a testament to Andrea’s writing (and the the translation’s integrity) and was a large part of why I found the story so compelling.

The other part, of course, was the physical journey itself. With stunning descriptions of the vistas and hardships endured during the climb, Andrea brought me utterly into the world of glacial ice and possibility that Stan’s quest for the “dragon” entailed. I’ve never felt the call of exploration or mountains before, never felt compelled to see or identify or do something no one has ever done or seen or found. It’s not who I am. But with language as pure as the mountain air and glacial ice it describes, Andrea made me want it. It was pure magic and I was captivated throughout.

Incidentally, I don’t know what it is about Gallic Books and their translations, but I have been enraptured by every single title I’ve read… I am continually amazed at the ability of their authors to write the stories they do and then at that of their translators to take the idiomatic original language and turn it into an equally lyrical English read – all the more so because the stories always hinge on the magic of description and emotion…

Thank you so much to the publisher and Meryl Zegarek Public Relations for my obligation-free review copy of this incredible tale!

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