August 1992. Fourteen-year old Anthony and his cousin decide to steal a canoe to fight their all-consuming boredom on a lazy summer afternoon. Their simple act of defiance will lead to Anthony’s first love and his first real summer – that one summer that comes to define everything that follows.
Over four sultry summers in the 1990s, Anthony and his friends grow up in a France trapped between nostalgia and decline, decency and rage, desperate to escape their small town, the scarred countryside and grey council estates, for a more hopeful future.
Winner of the Goncourt Prize and praised for its portrayal of people living on the margins of French society, Nicolas Mathieu’s eloquent novel becomes a mirror for the struggles of society today.