A coming-of-age novel about a father and his teenage son who are forced to spend two sleepless nights exploring the city of Marseilles, a journey of unexpected adventure and profound discovery that helps them come to truly know each other.
... compelling, compact ... Carofiglio’s precise, economic language is insightful to the point that this poignant story’s setting is secondary, save for the unfamiliar sense that dodgy parts of Marseilles are not intended for tourists, and therefore, father and son have the impression they’re up against the secrets of this French, coastal town together ... profound in its simple delivery.
Despite the importance of these events, it is the conversations between son and father that are the real substance of this slender novel...Happily, their subsequent conversations are enlightening for both of them. Antonio tells the story in his own unadorned first-person voice from his perspective as a 51-year-old adult, a fact that adds wisdom to this absorbing novel of filial bonding.
... poignant and moving ... The father and son’s odyssey through the gritty streets of Marseilles is laced with many memorable details ... Antonio’s catalog of intimate experiences, whether painful, pleasurable, or bittersweet, make for an enchanting coming-of-age tale.