For me the story is about all of us being connected at some level, regardless of where we are in the world. Six degrees of separation. It’s also about fate and small pieces of a large puzzle fitting together to create a bigger picture. One could say it’s coincidence, one could also say there is no such thing as coincidence.
Augusta and Julia are twins, but they couldn’t be more different. Julia is everything her parents expect her to be and more, and Augusta dances to her very own music. She loves words. Words are life, discovery, mystery and knowledge. Words lead to people, things and places. They are doors to other worlds.
Simultaneously the reader is introduced to Parfait on the other side of the world. His life is a complete contrast to that of Augusta, and there is no connection between the two, barring a wish and a dream of places far away.
The juxtaposition of the two lives of these two young people is relevant to our day and age, especially that of Parfait. His fate as a refugee and that of his brother is tragic. Glen wants us to see the way we live our day-to-day lives, whilst men, women and children risk their lives to reach a safer country in an attempt to escape their war-torn countries and the violence.
In a way Julia becomes the guilty conscience the author hopes our society will develop. We need to stop acting as if we see nothing, hear nothing and then speak nothing. A visceral connection needs to be strung from us to them.
Both Parfait and Augusta experience and have to deal with incredible grief and guilt. It is one of the bridges that connects and leads them to each other. In fact they become the hypothetical bridge of connection.
It’s a profound and emotional piece of literary fiction. The main character has shades of Eleanor Oliphant, and the story is introspective with politics and family dynamics woven into this beautiful contemporary read.
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