Vandal Love by Deni E. Béchard

The New Gabriel García Márquez?

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Being very sceptical when it comes to opening new authors, people sometimes prefer to read old and yet undiscovered books by favourite writers or await their latest releases. Vandal Love by Deni E. Béchard yet unknown to a vast amount of readers is not a bad thing to spend money and time on as it following the path of some great books earned fame through ages.

Vandal Love by Deni E. Béchard

Vandal Love is a book by a Canadian-American novelist Deni Ellis Béchard. Being published in 2006, Vandal Love had won Commonwealth Writer’s Prize in 2007. Later works established author’s success even more. Deni E. Béchard is also known as talented photojournalist focused on environmental and human rights issues. Vandal Love received warm reviews in various magazines: Publishers Weekly compared Deni E. Béchard with “Márquez with a French-Canadian twist.”

Vandal Love started with a brief history of the Canadian family and its “curse”. All women in this family are giving birth only to giants and little people. Giants are mighty, but dumb and poor emotionally while little people (Lilliputians?) tend to be kind and educated children but dies in their adulthood.

The Plot

Deni E. Béchard
Deni E. Béchard. Source image via milkweed.org

Young Jude lost his little sister and moved to the US driven by the grief, willing to find his path in this life as well as understanding why several members of his family decided to abandon everything and move abroad. As the story unfolds, we are observing Jude’s story and stories of his child and children of his child. Always on the roads of America close to nature, trying to find own goals in life.

The plot is emotionally following One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. The story of a simple working people unfolds before our eyes: the story of a charm and attraction thankfully to Deni E. Béchard’s writing style. A simpler living, one with nature, described in honest and sufficient words. Reading Vandal Love is not about poetry and rare words: don’t try to find pearls in this waters.

Characters and their thoughts and motives are a little bit straightforward. Deni E. Béchard painted them traditionally, and their actions are somehow predictable. However, as Vandal Love is a book about several generations of men and women, these schematic portraits are justified by the idea of showing “cursed” family “in common” as it was in One Hundred Years of Solitude, where only one or two protagonists were well developed.

Vandal Love was doomed to end exactly the way it ended. Deni E. Béchard left us with the intense feeling of anxiety, discontent and sad fate lying upon the characters shoulders.