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"The White Boat" by Xavier Bouvet: A Poignant Tale at the Heart of Estonia

CAdFE, the Business Club of Francophones in Estonia is pleased to highlight the latest work of one of its distinguished members, Xavier Bouvet, titled "The White Boat." In this captivating novel, the author immerses readers in the dramatic events of September 1944 when a small Baltic nation, Estonia, stands at the crossroads between the retreat of German troops and the imminent arrival of the Red Army.

The story unfolds in Tallinn, where Otto Tief and his fellow compatriots strive to restore Estonian independence by forming a fleeting government. Their audacious plan involves reaching neutral Sweden via a mysterious resistance boat anchored on the Puise beach to the west of the country. However, the prolonged wait jeopardizes the lives of these men and their vision for the rebirth of the Estonian Republic.


"The White Boat" by Xavier Bouvet: member of CAdFE, the Business Club for francophones in estonia


The narrative explores the tumultuous fates of these characters, especially that of Otto Tief, who, through a series of tragic events, is swept into a spiral of exile and captivity. Xavier Bouvet delicately depicts the pivotal decisions made in September 1944, decisions that echo throughout a lifetime.

Beyond the historical intrigue, "The White Boat" sheds light on other fascinating figures who left their mark during this pivotal period. Political figures such as former Prime Minister Jüri Uluots and President Päts, as well as literary luminaries like poet Marie Under and the enigmatic poet Vares alias Barbarus, orbit around Tief, adding additional depth to this saga.


A meeting with the author will take place on February 19th at 6:00 PM at the French Institute. More information: here.


Interview with the Author, Xavier Bouvet:


1. How did you discover Estonia, and what prompted you to settle there?

Estonia was initially an unexpected stop during a journey between Riga and Helsinki. The love for Tallinn was immediate, especially under its snowy blanket during our first encounter in March 2010. Each return expanded my discovery of the country, leading to my decision in 2022 to settle there due to family and professional opportunities.


2. What positive aspects have you found in your membership with CAdFE?

Working in online opinion analysis, the Business Club of Francophones in Estonia provides an ideal platform to meet diverse professionals active in the country. The organized events are moments of conviviality with enriching discussions about Estonia in locations I might not have discovered otherwise. The frequency of events perfectly aligns with my schedule, allowing for regular participation.


Author's Biography: Born in 1984 in Metz, Xavier Bouvet studied history and communication in Leipzig and Paris. Invested in recent years in municipal life in Metz, he now resides in Tallinn. "The White Boat" is his debut novel, the result of a longstanding interest in Estonia and three years of thorough documentation. This work marks the beginning of a promising literary career for this history enthusiast and connoisseur of Estonian culture.

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