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Review by Suze
Germain is used to being looked down on, because of his low intelligence. People make fun of him or they think it's all right to be disrespectful. He doesn't understand things as quickly as others, but that doesn't mean he's stupid. When he meets Margueritte on a bench in a local park they start talking. Margueritte tells Germain about her love for books and reading. She has patience and she teaches him to appreciate stories. His mother isn't a warm person and in Margueritte he finds a welcome replacement. A special friendship is being formed, one that will show Germain what the world has to offer.
Soft in the Head is a beautiful touching story. Germain isn't an educated man. Nobody ever took the time to make sure he learned what he needed to learn. People gave up on him and therefore he misses certain skills. By spending time with Margueritte he has the chance to see if some of them can still be learned. I loved their special connection and their compassion for each other. They're true friends who look out for one another and that was such a fantastic thing to witness.
Finding out more about Germain's history made my heart ache sometimes. I felt bad for the little boy that didn't feel like he was welcome anywhere. Germain is a good man, with a kind heart. He's loving and caring. He never complains and he just gets on with things. He's an admirable man. People can be wise in many different ways, which is one of the reasons why this story fascinated me from the start.
I had tears in my eyes when I read Soft in the Head. The writing is impressive and I love the translation into English. Frank Wynne has captured its French essence perfectly. Soft in the Head isn't very long, sometimes an author doesn't need many words to tell a brilliant story. I absolutely loved this amazing book and highly recommend it.