The Water-breather by Ben Faccini

The Water-breather

Ben Faccini

Our feelings and fears about growing up and mortality are the dominant themes of this book. You will recognise the emotions of this grieving family. Jean-Pio, an observant eight year old, is struggling to make sense of his grief, loss and disruption following the death of a much-loved grandfather. He feels powerless and finds the world incomprehensible, and tries to find methods of holding disaster at bay. This book is about me, this book is about you, this book is about life.


As everyone talks of the kidnap and their stories soak up the room, I concentrate on a gecko crawling near the light over the window outside. It passes round the window and through the door. It grips the top of the hinge, then slides down the gap. It pauses awkwardly between the hinge and the wall. Nonna stands up. She walks towards the door. She's about to shut it. I half close my eyes. I say to myself that no-one will save Aldo Moro if the gecko is squashed. Nonna pushes the base of the door with her foot. The door slams. I jump up and rush to the window. I watch the gecko scurry off into the climbing plant on the wall. Aldo Moro will live!

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