This is a book I read last year in Dutch translation, and now finally it has been translated into English.
A dry plain without shadow or shelter, without people or water, and a burning sun without mercy. A boy is on the run, over that plain. We do not know who he is, or why he is on the run. Slowly we realize that he is running from his village, but that a couple of men are determined to bring him back.
Luckily the boy gets the help from an old man and his herd of goats, who roam the plain, looking for food and water. He takes the boy under his protection, although he cannot prevent that the men who chase the boy catch up with them. Then they will have to make choices, even over life and death.
Out in the open is the first book by Spanish author Jesús Carrasco, and it has already been a huge success throughout the world. The reason I bought the book in the first place was because I loved the Dutch cover, with a white goat against a white background. It reminded me of the cover of 'The specter of Alexander Woolf' by Gaito Gazdanov (a white horse on white background) and I thought I would like this book as well.
Yes, I know, a very arbitrary reason to buy a book, but in this case it paid off, I loved this book.
Out in the open is beautiful and gripping. I wanted to know what would happen, although at certain places I could hardly read on, because it is so awful what happens with the boy. I was happy that the boy got help from a kind man, who shows him kindness without asking anything back, showing the boy there are other things than violence and evil.
When I finished the book, I could not start in another book right away, this one had to sink in a little.
Out in the open is not a cosy read. Read it when you have the time and the energy to emerge yourself in it and let it take you out in the open.
Original Spanish title: Intemperie
Published in 2013