Because he skips school to read, eat donuts and play marbles, because he is insolent, because he speaks better French than the French to the detriment of his maternal tongue that he is beginning to forget and because he gets into fights with children who mock his father who emigrated to France... For all these reasons, Hamet’s parents decide to punish him by sending him back to his family’s native village. They hope the trip will teach him obedience, respect for tradition and humility and they hope he will no longer be a stranger to his people, a lost boy.
Hamet meets his grandmothers, drinks the salty village well-water, works in the fields, becomes friends with the village boys, and learns much more than obedience. He learns his family history, the reason why his parents left their village and he discovers the man who is his father and where he really wants to live. It is a return to roots, a “huis clos” that opens up the world to him and helps him grow up.