Let’s be honest: when I received Hell’s Gate from Gallic Books, who are so gracious to send me many novels translated from the French, I warned them I might not read it.
The reason being a few expressions in the synopsis that usually tell me the book is not for me: “supernatural elements”, “relationship between the living and the dead” (I am a Christian, and do believe in such a relationship, but the way novelists treat it is rarely compatible with my faith), and “a way he could bring his son back from the dead.”
On the other hand, the author was Laurent Gaudé, who won the Prix Goncourt for another of his novels, and I have actually never read this author! And I usually do recognize the worth of that French literary award. So I thought I give it a try and go from there.
So I started very hesitantly. So much so that at 50% of the book, I still was not sure I was going to continue! And then something clicked, and oh my!