An astonishing novel, Vandal Love follows generations of a unique French-Canadian family across North America, and through the twentieth century, as they struggle to find their place in the world. A family curse – a genetic trick resulting from centuries of hardship – causes the Hervé children to be born either giants or runts. Book I of Vandal Love follows the giants’ line, exploring Jude Hervé’s career as a boxer in Georgia and Louisiana in the 1960s, his escape from that brutal life alone with his baby daughter Isa, and her eventual decision to enter into a strange, chaste marriage with a much older man. Book II traces a different kind of life entirely, as the runts of the family discover that their power lies in a kind of unifying love.
François searches for years for his missing father; his own son, Harvey, flees from modern society into spiritual quests. But none of the Hervés can abandon their longing for a place where they might find others like themselves. In assured and almost mystically powerful prose, D.
Y. Béchard tells a wide-ranging, spellbinding story of a family trying to create an identity in an unwelcoming North America. Political, poetic, and philosophically searching, and imbued throughout with a deep sensitivity to the physical world, Vandal Love is a breathtaking literary debut about the power of love to create and destroy – in our lives, and in our history. From the Hardcover edition.