What anxiety grips Petites Cendres as he runs towards the sea in the sunshine on a warm tropical morning? Shouldn’t he be reassured by the thought that he now lives at the Acacia Gardens, a comfortable home where all find care, understanding, and healing? How can Fleur, the young musical prodigy, listen to the diabolical confessions of Wrath, the fugitive priest, without shuddering? And, can Daniel the writer finish his novel, the one he has been working on for twenty years, despite his sensitivity and empathy for all creatures, even if they are the most humble, like the lizard he inadvertently crushed under his sandal?rnrnWith this latest novel, Marie-Claire Blais once again gives us a vibrant portrait that embraces the span of life — from birth to death and beyond. Her characters question their purpose and what will come after, as they are confronted by evil that lives and that has taken root.