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A young WWI soldier's unauthorized visit home has dire consequences in a haunting story reimagined in miniature tableaux.
About one hundred years ago, the whole world went to war.
The war was supposed to last months. It lasted years.
It is Christmastime, 1914, and World War I rages. A young French soldier named Pierre had quietly left his regiment to visit his family for two days, and when he returned, he was imprisoned. Now he faces execution for desertion, and as he waits in isolation, he meditates on big questions: the nature of patriotism, the horrors of war, the joys of friendship, the love of family, and how even in times of danger, there is a whole world inside every one of us. And how sometimes that world is the only refuge. Its publication coinciding with the centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, this moving and sparely narrated story, based on true events, is reenacted in fascinating miniature scenes that convey the emotional complexity of the tale. Notes from the creators explore the innovative process and their personal connection to the story.
About the Author
Pierre-Jacques Ober was born in a military family but broke with family tradition in his preference for philosophy over war. He lives with his wife, Australian photographer Jules Ober, in the rain forest of Australia.
Jules Ober is a self-taught photographer and designer as well as a multimedia producer, teacher of digital imagery, and website creator. She lives in Australia with her husband, Pierre-Jacques Ober.
Although it is based on a real story, the book has the force of a timeless fable, thanks to minimal, poetic text. Shallow depth-of-field photography by Ober’s wife, Jules, and digital enhancements by Felicity Coonan make the images especially lifelike. These striking miniatures have the power to put us in the minds of the true ‘little soldiers,’ the common men who fought in a long-ago war and yet whose story feels so present here.
—The New York Times Book Review
...the powerfully atmospheric art compels attention. Riveting...likely to stir strong responses in reflective readers.
Based on a true story, The Good Son is an emotionally rich account of friendship, loyalties tested, the horrors of war, and the price paid for choices made. Through spare narrative and intensely detailed photos of the miniature scenes created that make this book come alive, this selection is stirring on multiple levels.
—Kendal A. Rautzhan's "Books to Borrow...Books to Buy"