My rating: 4.5/5
The title is intriguing enough for you to want to pick up the book. At 108 pages and looking slim and fit, the book is a quick read.
Read it quickly, once. And then go back and savor it slowly. Ever so slowly.
This book merits at least 2 slow reads after the first ‘I can’t seem to put this down‘ read. You need time to savor the character that is Bilodo. You need time to get your head around what just happened.
Above all, you need time to read each finely-crafted Haiku slowly and let it marinate gently in your head.
And then go back and read it again, and understand it all over.
Bilodo is a simple guy leading a simple life. He is a postman and does what postmen do. Sorts and delivers letters with an efficiency that is their hallmark.
But Bilodo has a secret! Bilodo has figured out a way to spice up his otherwise predictable life in a very interesting way. He steams open personal letters in his house at night and savors the stories he finds hidden in them. He seals them back and delivers them the next day. No one notices that the letters are delivered a day late. This way he creates his own soap opera and lends some spice to his life.
Bilodo’s life changes when he discovers a series of letters between Ségolène and a Haiku master called Gaston. Without realizing it, he gets sucked into the world of Haikus created by Gaston and Ségolène. He falls in love with Ségolène and with Haikus at the same time.
Life chugs along gently as he waits for Ségolène’s letters to savor the magical words contained in them. Until one day, this surreal life is in danger of being shattered. He has to face the possibility of never reading Ségolène’s letters again.
To what lengths will our simple Bilodo go to ensure that her letters keep coming? Denis puts us in the mind of Bilodo and we cannot help but walk with him on his incredible journey.
And the ending? Aah…I’ll leave you with this haunting Haiku from the book:
Swirling like water
against rugged rocks,
time goes around and around