The Breakwater House

The Breakwater House

Book - 2010
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In a peaceful neighbourhood, two little girls are born five days apart. Lucie lives with her mother, Aurore, who struggles to make ends meet; Claire lives with her wealthy mother, Suzanne, who struggles to make her marriage work. The girls are inseparable. For 10 years, Aurore weaves a rich skein of tales for Lucie and Claire. Then, when the girls turn 15, Aurore tells the final tale in her tapestry, and disappears forever.

Several years later, Lucie gives birth to a little girl, Odyssee, and she and Claire take turns telling stories to the child. But one day something unspeakable happens. Into the terrible silence, a woman without a name wanders, trying to find the broken pieces of herself.

The Breakwater House is the story of the complex love between mothers, daughters, and friends. With this thrilling puzzle of a novel, Governor General's Literary Award winner and Giller Prize nominee Pascale Quiviger shows that she is a writer who is capable of combining stylistic brilliance, philosophical depth, and sheer un-put-downable storytelling.
Publisher: Toronto : Anansi, c2010.
ISBN: 9780887842306
Characteristics: 198 p. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Lederhendler, Lazer


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Mar 16, 2018

I read this book because I found it on the shelf in a seniors' home. It's cover advertised that it was a winner of the Governor General's Literary Award and a Scotiabank Giller Prize nominee. However, this is just another case of stuffy, out-of-touch literary snobs rating a book much better than it deserves. The Globe and Mail review stated, "Pascale Quiviger has written a novel whose unanswered questions readers will not only tolerate, but cherish. " I spent too much time reading this book (a couple of evenings), and didn't appreciate the "poetic" style of the author. It basically meant that I had to re-read many passages to try and decipher what the author was trying to convey, and then was left with more questions than answers at the end of the book. It seemed that it was written by someone that was not mentally stable. When I went online looking for any customer reviews, I found none. There were only glowing reviews done by the literary snobs when it was first published in 2010. I doubt if too many copies were sold.

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