Billy Mann is raised by his alcoholic grandfather after being left in a picnic basket on the threshold of the family farmhouse. Despite this ignoble beginning, Billy grows up on a rich diet of family history and fried bologna and becomes a sweet and sensible young man. Kowalski’s first novel is both funny and touching as it demonstrates the power of unstinting love and loyalty. As Billy sets out on the concluding journey, the reader wishes him bonne chance.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
We enjoyed the humour and plot detours throughout this book. The stories of the grandfather’s shipwreck, the family curse and the ice storm were wonderfully told. While Billy seemed a little too good to be true, we liked him anyway. As Canadian’s we especially appreciated the scene in Quebec when Billy joins the “separatist” parade. We look forward to reading more of Kowalski’s work.