In this collection, meet:
Guillaume, who gives up everything to protect his child; young Mathew, who stakes his life to save his home; and François, who makes the biggest sacrifice to rescue his grandson.
The Sacrifice is a collection of three short stories all with a running theme of sacrifice. More specifically, personal sacrifice. All three are set in France, but the sense of necessary sacrifice is something I think many people can relate to.
In the first story, we learn of the sacrifices that a lifelong farmer is prepared to make for his son. A single father, Guillaume is doing everything to look after his son, and desperately trying to keep his ailing farm that once belonged to his father from going under. Financial hardship, death and emotional trauma lead to a dad making the hardest choice he has ever had to make.
The second tale follows Matthew, a school boy. Coming from a single home, Matthew struggles with his home life, especially the fact that his mother is dating one of his teachers. His only escape is to a tree he calls home, in a wooded area. When that gets threatened with being cut down, he does whatever he must to save it, no matter the cost.
The final story follows Francois, a man close to retirement who has all but adopted his grandson, as his daughter struggles with attempted suicide. At the age of 60, Francois struggles to find work, and after a highly successful book, and two not so successful books, he struggles to get his latest book published. All the while, he tries to keep his grandson clothed and fed and at school. Between seeking a publisher for his book, and looking for any paying work, Francois starts doing anything to make money, eventually making the ultimate sacrifice for the wellbeing of his grandson.
As a collection, The Sacrifice is a great set of stories. The first and last in the series for my preference as the best two tales in this book. I felt the second story was a little unusual, and didn’t make as much sense as the others, but overall, The Sacrifice is a solid collection of stories.