From an award-winning Icelandic author comes a parable of hope against a backdrop of unrelenting emotional hardship.
Henry, an outcast with a clubfoot and a stutter, has lived with brutality his whole life. Shunted from school to school by a mother desperate to regain control over her own life, Henry’s anger finally explodes in violence against her. The state sends him to a remote, coastal corner of Iceland to live with other troubled boys at the Home of Lesser Brethren. On a farm run by the neurotically zealous Rev. Oswald and his kind wife, Emily, he feels truly accepted only by the farm animals he tends. Still unable to build relationships with the people around him, his loneliness threatens to overcome him. He finds a kind of inner peace on the lava outcroppings that loom above the sea. With the help of a golden-haired little boy who finds his way into Henry’s heart, he’s finally able to overcome his reticence to communicate and to see that others also struggle with the fine line between good and evil. Erlings’ poetic, graceful language is an overt tribute to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince.
A powerful, Christian-themed exploration of a journey to self-acceptance and hard-won friendship. (Fiction. 12 & up)