A tale woven over the course of four days and fifty-four years, based on the relationship between bees, angels, spirits, and one Franco-Albertan family.
“If heaven is full of angels like me, hell must be empty.” So begins, Autant, a tale woven over the course of four days and fifty-four years, based on the relationship between bees and one Franco-Albertan family, the Morasses, of Autant, Alberta. Tension emerges in the balance of power between siblings, between seen and unseen forces of good and evil, between perception and reality, between loyalty and traitors, and between what we are taught and what we actually learn.
Poised between the ever-practical God and quixotically old Coyote, it is a tale told to explain the disappearance of bees in northern Alberta and becomes a sometimes not-so-subtle exploration of how old and young, male and female, humans and non-humans perceive love.
As easily as sunlight bends through a jar of clear golden honey mead, we witness an angel sitting atop the fridge in the kitchen, watching his favourite set of lights twirl about in their respective orbits. Everyone oblivious to his presence except for six-year-old Bella, whose gift it is to see such beings, and Lily, the “other angel”, sent by Coyote to mix things up a bit.
Autant reminds us that life can be more exciting when you believe that magic is real and Dubé’s expansion of this idea in the story through characters and plot, and her lively and controlled blending of fantastical elements with the everyday occurrences of the Morasses family help keep this magic alive.
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