The Man Without Shelter
Author: Indrajit Garai
Published: September 5, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 2- December 10, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Lucy, a young lawyer, is on fast track to partnership in her firm. Arnault, a convicted felon, leaves prison after two decades through a piece of evidence in his favor. The two of them come together during a rescue operation at the centre of Paris, and then they go on with their separate lives.
Months later, their paths cross again at a camp for migrants on the edge of Paris.
Though short, The Man without Shelter took way to long for me to read. This was all on me as I was adjusting (and still am) to working at a new office location with a longer commute. I found myself more tired shortly after the immediate move, but will hopefully become fully adjusted soon. Part of it is also this time change and it getting dark so much earlier! Needless to say, I would like to re-read this one again in a much shorter time! But back to the book:
I enjoyed this novella! The beginning gets straight to the point with Arnault’s sudden release from prison after 20 years! It is listed as a ‘sudden and immediate’ release at 3am, which I had a hard time believing. I can’t see someone being released without any help in the middle of the night. But this start really pulled me in as a reader!
With Arnault’s release, I instantly became “Team Arnault” and rooted for him the whole story! He was released due to DNA evidence and we go along with him as he leaves the prison and tries to start life on the outside. But it’s much harder than expected because he doesn’t even have a current ID and has many issues getting that.
With this novella, Garai shows us a part of Paris that many of those fortunate will never see. We experience the homelessness, migrant camps, despair and violence that some experience daily. In addition to the social elements given, Garai also gives us a legal drama, which I enjoy.
We also have Lucy’s story where she is emerging from scandal in her law firm and gets in over her head while trying to help Arnault. Their two stories come back together and I really enjoyed the ending. It seemed — or maybe it was just this reader hoping — that there will be a continuation to this novella.
I received a copy from Garai’s assistant to read and review in my own time, which I unintentionally did. It was a pleasure to read.