My October

I spotted My October by Clare Holden Rothman in the bookstore and decided I had to have it, regardless of what the book was about, and whether or not it was well written. Because I LOVE the cover. It reeks Montreal, specifically Le Plateau area with the outdoor staircases that are so unique to this great city. It deserves to sit on my coffee table while the leaves turn and litter the sidewalks, just like on the cover. This is a novel full of historical detail that brings memories to the forefront of my mind… the FLQ bombings, the murder of Pierre Laporte, and the kidnapping of James Richard Cross. They’re all in the book.  Yes, Je me souviens. Luc Levesque is a famous Quebec author who has been at odds with his life for awhile. He is recognized wherever he goes as a writer for a generation of Quebecers. His wife Hanna is Anglophone from a family and background very different from Luc’s. She is his translator, and has spent her adult life distancing herself from her English family. Hugo is their 14 year old son who struggles with his identity and fitting in at his elite French school. This is the story of those 3 identities and how they form a family and deal with life, conflicting emotions, ideals and views. The backdrop to this is the October Crisis. This is a beautifully written book.  It’s a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards for 2014, and it’s a well deserved nomination. If you like reading fiction books set in Canada by Canadian authors that deal with recent historical events, this is for you.  Read it and remember.

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