Nathacha is an india born Mauritian writer she currently lives of the coast of Madagascar on a small island ,The last brother is her debut novel and in france won the FNAC fiction prize .she has written 3 other novels also winning prizes for blue bay palace ,see start as a journalist in her native Mauritius before in 98 going to france where she has worked in print media and radio .The last brother is set in the middle of the second world war we join Raj a young boy who has lost his brother distant from his hard-working father ,looking for friends and a way to deal with the loss of his brother meanwhile David arrives with 1500 Jews that have been deported from Palestine in their search for the promised land ,they arrive in Mauritius ,this is where Raj and David meet both have suffer loses and quickly they form a bond and become each others brothers so to speak ,David goes on the run from the prison camp ,where it happens Raj’s father is a guard the two boys escape through the tough swamps and landscape ,David not being in the best of health struggles .The book is a wonderfully poetic book and at just 200m pages long is what I call a weekend book one I read last saturday in a day ,Nathacha has done a great Job highlighting the plight of the people who didn’t make the promised land .
Then David made a very curious gesture .He plunged two fingers into the earth ,the laid them ,all covered in soil against his breast and ,his hand upon his beating heart said ERETZ .My mother began to weeping softly ,because she herself had probably understood that he was speaking of the promised land .
Raj sees how much the promised land means to David .
Told through Raj’s eyes you get a childlike view of the world where he is unconcerned with borders country’s and border ,just in his friend and brother David ,This book is one of the most touching books I ve read .The translation by Geoffrey Strachan is seamless as you’d expect from him .Raj and David will live with me for a long while ,the scenery of Mauritius as well .
I picture that blond child again ,his magnificent long jumping ,his good-natured face silhouetted against the sky and the foliage of the trees ,the red parakeet perched on his golden hair and I tell myself that in a minute I shall recount David’s story to my son ,so that he .too, may remember .
the ending of the book !
If you’re looking for a powerful and thought provoking read instead of a supermarket holiday read I d put this on the top of your list !!!!!! .the book is in hard back FROM MACLEHOSE PRESS