The story of the tragic destiny of a cursed child, Thomas Hogan. It is a tale whose poetic charm works itself irreversibly on the reader.
William Hogan, who is to become Thomas’s father, inherits a fortune when his father dies. He buys a piece of wild and captivatingly beautiful land : two hectares of forest where wild raspberries flourish and deer graze.
After squandering his fortune he works relentlessly : by day at the village sawmill and by night at the police station where he files the most sordid cases. What comes of this proximity to crime ? He is sombre, doleful and violent. But he works hard and is a good catch. One evening at the village ball he seduces the beautiful Mary and marries her.
From this union Thomas is born. He is a delightful child, and unlike his father he is fragile and vulnerable. But his life is overturned the day William gashes his right hand at the sawmill. The wound becomes gangrenous and kills Thomas’s father, as there is nothing the family doctor, O’Brian, can do. From that moment on, the accident casts a shadow over Thomas’s destiny like a bad omen.
Thomas grows up and meets his friend Paul, his opposite, as strong and disobedient as he is fragile and shy, and his love, Donna, Doctor O’Brian’s admirable assistant. Soon, his dark destiny catches up with and he will become to everyone the legendary "cursed son" of Mary.
In a direct but imaginative style Cécile Coulon leads us a universe of emotion which blends tranquillity with unspeakable melancholy.
"A novel as lethal as a loaded gun, where brutality is beauty’s rival. Its author is a 21 year-old girl from Clermont-Ferrand. Her talent is mind-blowing. If Cécile Coulon chose the USA (where she has never set foot) as the setting for the story, it is because it is a place where anything is possible. Good and evil are closely entwined, like in a John Ford western […]. Shards of beauty pierce the brutality."
Le Monde des livres
« Rare are the writers who impose themselves as such from their very first book. Cécile Coulon is certainly one of them […]an extraordinary universe […] Inhabited by lost, fractured beings, her texts occupy a place far from the realms of loosely written novellas or thick, pretentious and egocentric novels […]. This is a novel with biblical strains, finely cut into the beauty of a landscape bewitched by mystery, legends and muffled tragedies. »
« Cécile Coulon steers the ship of her novel with great authority. »