One Sun Only by Camille Bordas, 2022
The magic trick:
Building a conflict around an unexpected family situation
Camille Bordas stories, for me, have been like a band with a great sound that doesn’t yet have a great song or a signature single. All the pieces are there. Just need to consolidate all that into the one transcendent song you feel they are capable of producing.
Bordas has a way with a story. I just don’t feel like I’ve read that classic, ready-for-25-years-in-the-anthologies hit.
Is “One Sun Only” that hit?
No, probably not.
But it is good.
I appreciated the conflict – or at least one of the key conflicts among several. The narrator is still processing his father’s death. Nothing new there topic wise. But there is something original here in the specific forms that processing takes. The narrator returns throughout the story to this notion that his father liked his granddaughter better than his grandson. Picking your favorite child is supposed to be the cliche for an impossible task. So it’s pretty surprising and very intriguing to deal with such a situation.
And that’s quite a trick on Bordas’s part.
Henry was constantly telling me that I should write more personal stuff, that the reason my first (and so far only) novel had sold so little was that people didn’t want to read about hundred-per-cent-fictional characters anymore, they wanted real humans, real life, and I’d had such an interesting life, being the son of a big-deal artist, travelling the world with him as a boy, losing my mother so young, meeting Nikki after having been originally set up with her sister (yes, the one with the twins), and then the divorce. People loved divorce stories, Henry said.
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