THE BRIGHT SIDE
The idyllic village of Mireville, France, has been sunny for decades—ever since Henri Blanchard’s father chased away the clouds. Alongside the local bobbin lacemakers and luthiers, all of whom export their handmade pleasures, the Blanchard men make serinettes, high-pitched barrel organs coveted by wealthy women who want to train their canaries to sing popular chansons. When the village doctor diagnoses Henri with a weak constitution—an embarrasingly feminine disease—the prescribed rest breaks make him an easy target, not only for barbs from his fellow apprentices, but in the eyes of his father, whose Sun-bringer reputation causes him to yearn for ordinariness. The local girls, of course, adore Henri. He listens. He asks questions. He does not tell them what to think.
Soon after his eighteenth birthday, Henri tries to resuscitate a dead girl in an alley behind the violon workshops. Amid accusations of murder and contagion leveled by his fellow apprentices, he flees the village—and his magical, sun-soaked childhood—with coins the local girls collect for him. He heads to New York, hoping to earn Papa’s favor by finding his genius half-brother—a loose thread in the family history—and perhaps to meet his first canary. THE BRIGHT SIDE reverses gender roles and explores societal cages, the dark underbelly of community harmony, and the importance of being true to your own sharps and flats, no matter what the cost.
In Body Copy, told in interwoven past and present narratives, an honest but immature newspaper reporter struggles with her own culpability in the sudden death of her roommate.