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The Penalty Area

Category: Book
Translated By: Curtis, Howard
By (author): Gillot, Alain
Subject:  FICTION / In Translation / French
  FICTION / Literary
  FICTION / Medical
  FICTION / Sports
Publisher: Europa Editions
Published: September 2016
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 8.25in x 5.25in
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$ 23.95
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*The Penalty Area is a heartwarming novel about overcoming adversity, making human connections, and playing the glorious game of soccer. 

Vincent once had a shot at becoming a professional soccer player, but a career-ending injury put an end to his dreams. A tough kid from a poor family, he has become an emotionally cut-off man with frustrated hopes and limited options. He finds himself coaching an under-16 soccer club in an attempt to keep alive his only passion in life. 

The team he coaches is little more than a roster of hotheaded boys, none of whom understands the on-field chemistry needed to win. Simply put, they aren't of a championship caliber. When his unemployed sister Madeleine, a single mother, dumps her thirteen-year-old son on him, Vincent panics. With no clue how to take care of a teenager, he brings his nephew to practice and eventually throws him into the scrimmage. It's then that Vincent notices there's something strange about Léonard. He has a preternatural ability for anticipating each striker's intentions, making him a remarkably talented goalkeeper, but he seems detached, absent, lost. It becomes clear that Léonard
has undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome, and also that, with Léonard's abilities as a goalkeeper, Vincent's ragtag team has a chance to reach the finals. For that to happen, for the team to find a reason to rally behind this strange kid from Paris, Vincent will have to let down his guard and open his heart for the first time ever. 

A warm and engaging read, The Penalty Area is about building a sense of family on your own terms.
Review Quote*Praise for The Penalty Area

"Expertly translated by Curtis, Gillot's novel about soccer is about more than the bruising arena of competitive sports. It is also a delicate character study of a solitary man slowly rejoining the world."
-Publishers Weekly

"A slim, understated novel of nicely drawn vignettes."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Gillot tells a fresh, original story and writes with finesse."

"Gillot's enthusiasm for sport emerges early as he tenderly and humorously describes Léonard's discovery of soccer, a revelation that is reminiscent of Lionel Messi's story . . . Léonard and Vincent bring each other fresh perspectives on their situations, allowing each to begin a new life by repairing the wounds of the past."
-Le Monde
Biographical NoteAlain Gillot is an admired journalist, a screenwriter, and a comic book author. The Penalty Area is his debut novel.