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Review by Suze
Jacques has lost both his parents at a young age. When his mother died his father made arrangements for Jacques in case something would happen to him. Jacques is French, but speaks English fluently and this is something he needs for his future. His father appointed a guardian, Oliver, who lives in England and Jacques is being forced to leave everything and everyone he loves behind to start over in a different country. Oliver is a selfish and arrogant man. He's married to Anna, who's a bit kinder, but distant. They already have a son and a daughter, so Jacques isn't the only child in their home. Oliver doesn't care about any of them and Jacques has to go from a warm home to a cold one.
Jacques is a talented child and he develops his skills when growing up. He eventually starts to feel comfortable with his new family, which is mainly because of Rebecca, Oliver's daughter. They become close and their connection is deep. Jacques knows from a young age that she's more than just a sibling, but will he actually have a chance with Rebecca or does their situation and upbringing prevent them from ever being together?
Jacques is a beautiful story about a boy who doesn't have a lucky start in life. Jacques is kindhearted and strong. Even though he's grieving he makes the best of his situation. He's an admirable person and I loved reading about him. He manages to adjust because he has to and his good-naturedness is wonderful. Jacques slowly comes to appreaciate his new life and surroundings. He easily makes friends, he feels at home with Anna and Rebecca and he keeps following his heart. Jacques is an incredible person and that is what makes this book so amazing.
Jacques is an impressive coming-of-age novel. Tanya Ravenswater writes in an open and disarming way. This is a terrific contrast to the formal dialogue she uses. Main characters are addressing each other by their full first name whenever they speak and they are always incredibly polite, which perfectly suits the environment Jacques is being brought up in. It's definitely something that stands out and that makes his story memorable.
Even in England tragedy follows Jacques, Tanya Ravenswater doesn't spare him. He has to get used to grief, but this also makes him learn to welcome every good thing that happens in his life. Jacques expresses his emotions through his talents. Dealing with many different kinds of suffering makes him wise beyond his years. This striking quality is apparent in every conversation he has and I enjoyed that a lot. Tanya Ravenswater has writte a terrific complete novel. Jacques is a riveting story about a very special person.