A young girl discovers the art, seizes it, makes the artist to turn. And the inventiveness of the child transforms into a force of creation.
One is in Quebec at Chicoutimi, in 1963. The quiet Revolution is in the works, but the weight of the religion remains. Pay tithing even if it is poor, go to mass even if we are bored, and obey the religious school.
Lil ‘ 11-year-old, is a bit of a rebel and it leads to the Great, his obedient friend, in his quest of adventures.
Actually, it has this Old that the storyline with her hair crazy : she would like to take a look at his house. The Great on the heels, she finds an excuse to ring at his door, to enter. And thus discover a sculpture made by the old man : a head, barely sketched.
It is intriguing ! Enough to want to return there. But how ?
Well thanks to a helping hand unexpected : the abbot of his parish ! He formerly studied at the beaux-arts, which includes the curiosity of the young girl and is thrilled to be playing the intermediate.
He asked to meet with the director of the arts House of the city which is preparing an exhibition of works by the Old. The flamboyant madame Madore invite him to serve as an assistant volunteer.
La P’tite finds himself plunged into a universe unknown, which affects more than religion. It makes him want to create, in turn, to invent rituals facts of music, dance, costumes, and a work shaped from his hands. And maybe these prayers to the pagan to help finally track down the father of the Great party for years…
Claire Hélie book and a charming tale. It presents the candid look of a child on the edge of adolescence, on the bottom of society that the author knew, what a relief !, not to caricature it. Religion is not démonisée, which does not feel its heaviness. And the art is the case of people original, not marginal.
The narrative is also suffused with poetic passages and moments of touching. This one among others…
The Abbot asked the Old ornaments for the baptismal font of the church. The sculptor wants to represent the scene of the Samaritan woman, where Jesus asked drink of a woman who, according to the usage of the time, it would not even have had to talk to. But where to find the inspiration for the hands of a woman worn out by life ? La P’tite think of his mother…
The latter, initially reluctant, agree to pose as a model. It is necessary to see her excitement when she discovers the sculpture is complete.
One day, at mass, the P’tite is daydreaming in front of the statues that surround it. But where were they, “before members of the cast” ? Nowhere ? And suddenly she understands that before the blows of hammer and chisel, they were an image in someone’s head.
Follow this beautiful process is the heart and soul of this novel.