June 01, 2009

Review: Last Night in Montreal

Last Night in Montreal
by Emily St. John Mandel

"Stop looking for me. I'm not missing; I do not want to be found. I wish to remain vanishing. I don't want to go home. - Lilia"

From the back cover: Last Night in Montreal is a story of love, amnesia, compulsive travel, the depths and limits of family bonds, and the nature of obsession. In this stunning debut, Emily St. John Mandel casts a spell that captures the reader in a gritty, youthful world...

Sounds intriguing doesn't it? I requested this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program and was so excited when I received it. I too have been a compulsive traveller. 23 moves in 12 cities during my 34 years. And I have some holes in my early childhood memories, though not for the same reason as Lilia. I have learned the depths and limits of family bonds; and I have experienced the consequences of obsession. Life is a long hard road and old habits die hard. Sometimes we get trapped between our fear of being alone and our yearning to just disappear. That is the premise behind Last Night in Montreal.

It would be hard to say that I loved the characters because they can be difficult to understand sometimes but I wanted to spend my time with them. I felt their stories were important and worth my time. I hurt for each of them. I sympathized with all of them. They were whole characters because of their brokenness, if that makes sense. I understood that I was helpless to help them; all I could do for them was acknowledge their existence. Poignant for a book full of people trying to disappear.

Clearly I loved this book. Emily St. John Mandel writes well and conveys emotional turmoil brilliantly. I wish for her a long and rewarding career and look forward to discovering what else she has to contribute to the world about the realities of life.

Buy this book at Amazon.


bermudaonion said...

After your fantastic review, I really want to read this book!

Emily St. John Mandel said...

Thank you so much for your review! I truly appreciate it; it's wonderful to read that you loved the book.

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Fabulous review...I'm definitely going to keep my eyes peeled for this book!

Zibilee said...

Great review! It seems you really loved this book, I will have to check it out.

avisannschild said...

I just reviewed this book (and linked to your review). I enjoyed it too, although I didn't like her portrayal of my home town!