The walk is difficult. You need to look where you put your feet, it is crazy to think about how you can be swallowed up, disappear effortlessly, fall in a hole, a ravine, an absence, die easily. In the middle of the forest the fauna grows incessantly, the trees move in a sort of vertical dance. The nature spreads out into a trail, a green marsh, a sublime hell. May plunges into a disorientating universe that is familiar and frightening at the same time; filled with unknown sounds, strange birds, the sounds of leaves, the smell of frangipanis.
May, who is French and 53 years old, makes her way through the Thai jungle. She follows in the footsteps of her best friend, Stéphane, who passed away not too long ago in questionable circumstances. She set out on this trek to clear up the mystery of his disappearance. But this journey is also an opportunity for May, a different kind of pilgrimage as she goes back to her native land. She has definitely come to see the light of day in this country… After the jungle she discovers her mother’s birth place, Bangkok, and the Koh Samet Island. What has she really come searching for half way around the world?
In this novel in which May comes back to her roots, one is cradled by the rhythm of the changing water of Mekong as Agnès Vannouvong transports us on this sensual and maiden voyage.
Agnès Vannouvong is the author of two novels published at the Mercure de France, After Love and Gabrielle.