Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Montreal’

Last Night In Montreal was on my list of potential reads for my week off between jobs. I got it with a gift card my former coworkers gave me. I loved Emily St. John Mandel‘s Station Eleven, so I decided to give another of her titles a try, and it arrived before The Scapegoat. It was a really good read, one that reminded me a little of a David Lynch film, and a little of a John le Carré novel.

It’s enough of a mystery that I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but the gist is that Eli, whose thesis deadline passed over a year before the book opens, is struggling to find meaning in his work and life when he meets Lilia, a lovely young woman who like Eli, is interested in languages. Although she tells him about her strange life — she was taken from her mother’s house by her father when she was very young and as an adult, she can’t seem to stay in one place very long — Eli is still shocked when Lilia leaves him. He is bereft, and then a strange postcard arrives directing him to Montreal.

St. John Mandel tells the story as Lilia and Eli see it, and as Christopher, the Montreal detective who has searched for years for Lilia, and his daughter, Michaela, see it. It’s a weird story full of rich details about languages, tightrope walking, and travel. It’s a story about what people will do for love, even hurt others. And it’s a very absorbing book that might keep you awake trying to read a few more pages. I’ve never read anything quite like it.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Here’s a preview of this week’s column. I review New Hampshire author Donna Decker’s novel Dancing In Red Shoes Will Kill You and Julia Bascom’s The Obsessive Joy of Autism.

The Mindful Reader: Novel explores true-life massacre and its impact

Franklin Pierce University professor Donna Decker is known for her seminars, including one on school shootings. Now she’s written a novel, “Dancing In Red Shoes Will Kill You,” about the Dec. 6, 1989, massacre of 14 women students at École Polytechnique in Montreal.

In her author’s note, Decker makes clear that the book is fiction, and the characters are her own, even if they are based on real lives. She explains she’d always intended to write a nonfiction book about the massacre, but hearing author Slavenka Drakulic discuss her novel about rape victims of the Bosnian war changed her mind. Like Drakulic, Decker wanted “to get at the emotional truth” of the women who died; most of the news coverage at the time focused on the shooter.

Decker’s novel centers on one of the engineering students who died, a feminist reporter whose name appeared on the killer’s list of targets, and a student at another Montreal university who experiences date rape in her first semester at college. Decker draws readers into her character’s lives by fleshing out their family and friends, and by showing readers that they are people with foibles and faults as well as dreams of the lives ahead of them.

Read the rest here.

Read Full Post »