Friday, February 12, 2010
"Last Night in Montreal, by Emily St John Mandel
This debut novel by Mandel is a breath of fresh air, quite enjoyable. It is wonderfully and expertly written to provoke emotions without being of any specific genre. The novel has its share of mystery with a psychological undertone. I believe it will appeal to those who enjoy reading novels based around a variety of topics and styles.
The novel brings together the stories of four people: Eli who follows Lilia to Montreal after she leaves him, Christopher, the private detective obsessed with Lilia’s case, Michaela, the detective’s daughter, who holds her own secrets and of course Lilia herself. Their stories cast a spell of intrigue right from the start.
It opens when Lilia Albert walks out on her latest boyfriend Eli leaving no clues to where she is going: she simply left, that is what she does best….. She has been on the run since the age of seven when her estranged father abducted her from her home in Quebec, changing identity, hair colour and travelling throughout the states never stopping long in one place. Her father eventually settled down but she was never able to, it was in her blood. On their trail for over 11 years is Christopher the P.I. hired by her mother. Through the years he has made finding her an obsession.
The story is brilliantly paced weaving back and forth from present to past with multiple points of views.
Eli’s passionate and haunting search for Lilia in Montreal spins mystery into the tale with many unexpected twists that will delight the reader. The narrative turns dark and profound at times and the visual details and characterization shows that Ms Mantel excels in her craft and knows how to bring out the empathy in her readers.
This is a complex and well portrayed novel