'They always tell you that you shouldn't tell lies, but without lies I'd already be in an orphanage. This, in any case, is my first true lie' Luca and his mum are like two peas in a pod in their special, fragile world. Then, one winter morning his mother doesn't wake up. Luca suddenly finds himself alone for the first time. Terrified of what telling the truth might bring, he decides to keep the biggest secret of his life. Luca goes along to school every day, pretending everything is as it always has been. But he returns ...
'They always tell you that you shouldn't tell lies, but without lies I'd already be in an orphanage. This, in any case, is my first true lie' Luca and his mum are like two peas in a pod in their special, fragile world. Then, one winter morning his mother doesn't wake up. Luca suddenly finds himself alone for the first time. Terrified of what telling the truth might bring, he decides to keep the biggest secret of his life. Luca goes along to school every day, pretending everything is as it always has been. But he returns home every night to a cold, dark house. So he begins to build a protective bubble with the memories of his mother, the words and stories he so loves - and his cat Blue - against the truth on the other side of the bedroom door.
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?The First True Lie? by Marina Mander is the story of Luca a little boy apparently of elementary school age whose single mother dies in their apartment of a drug overdose. His grandmother is senile, his mother's best friend is on vacation and he has no contact with his father. Because of his fear of being sent to an orphanage he hides his mother's death and leaves her body in her bed for two weeks.
The novella is well translated from the Italian and author Marina Mander does create a consistent child's voice for Luca who serves as the narrator. The book has some elements of horror especially as the mother's body begins to decay and Luca becomes more confused and fearful. Readers will be able to identify with Luca and his plight but needless to say this is quite a depressing read although it has some important things to say about the human condition.
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