It's Love We Don't Understand
It's Love We Don't Understand by Bart Moeyaert, translation: Wanda Boeke
(Front Street, 2002, 128 pages)
It's summer and it's hot. A girl is riding in the back seat of a car between her mother and her mother's sleeping boyfriend, his dog tucked between her feet. Her brother is driving. He suddenly stops the car, gets out, and stands silently. His mother joins him. The boyfriend continues to sleep. Mother and son lean against each other. He starts to cry. The girl distracts her little sister by taking her for a walk. From a distance, the girl hears shouting and sees her mother's boyfriend fall heavily onto the pavement. Their mother shoves her brother to the ground. This novel tells the bittersweet story of an unconventional family and its struggles. The story unfolds with an immediacy and an impact that only a perceptive but innocent child can convey.