Blog Tour: Boundary by Andrée A. Michaud #Boundary @noexitpress
Published by No Exit Press on the 23rd March, my thanks to them and the author for the review copy and having me on the blog tour. Boundary is translated from French by Donald Winkler.
A chilling thriller as compulsive as Emma Cline's The Girls.
It's the Summer of 1967. The sun shines brightly over Boundary Pond, a holiday haven on the US-Canadian border. Families relax in the heat, happy and carefree. Hours tick away to the sound of radios playing 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' and 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'. Children run along the beach as the heady smell of barbecues fills the air.
Zaza Mulligan and Sissy Morgan, with their long, tanned legs and silky hair, relish their growing reputation as the red and blonde Lolitas. Life seems idyllic.
But then Zaza disappears, and the skies begin to cloud over...
My Thoughts: Boundary is a spectacular book and not entirely what I was expecting. It is indeed a crime novel but with none of the pace of recent thrillers. I found this book though to be equally exhilarating. Set against the backdrop of 1967, 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' and 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' are our soundtrack. The lazy days of summer are meandering by until a girl, Zaza goes missing. Summer days and carefree attitudes are forever altered by this turn of events. Told cleverly from various viewpoints, the story builds over the pages much like the claustrophobic heat of the summer. A cast of individual and often troubled characters piqued my interest. Perhaps there is no such thing as a carefree summer after all, as a melancholy descends and things slowly seem to unravel. The author of this book clearly knows the location like the back of her hand. It is so painstakingly and vividly described, It almost felt like I was there and could smell the heat and the woods. The scenes surrounding the location for me anyway are this books greatest strength. Boundary is a character itself, it is full of charm, it is beguiling and mysterious if one could venture into the woods. The author writes in an unusual style that I particularly loved. Her writing is almost cinematic as the landscapes and the people were played out before me. The writing is eloquent, beautiful and poetic and belies the terrible crime that has taken place between the pages. This kind of writing excites me, and I will be certainly looking out for her previous work.
I would suggest that this book takes a small amount of investment from the reader, it is not the easiest book to get into initially but wait until you have read it. I feel enriched and rewarded as a reader from the experience.
I am thrilled that I also have a guest post on how this story came about...
Andrée A. Michaud, Boundary
How the idea of Boundary came to me
The idea of Boundary came to
me on an August night, when the air, filled with the scent of rain, reminded me
of the smells of Bondrée, a little lake surrounded by woods, at the border of
the United States, where my father used to take me when I was just a little
I was living near the St. Laurent River for the summer in the cottage of
Gabrielle Roy, a famous Canadian writer, where I’d been lucky enough to have
taken a writer’s residency. I was sitting on the veranda, watching the foxes
and the raccoons leaving the woods in the dark, when a
scent of ancient rain, back from my childhood, came through the screens,
carried by the wind. This scent was so intense that all my memories of Bondrée
came back in a few minutes. At that very moment, I knew I had the material for
my next novel and that it would take place there, in that
wonderful and mysterious wilderness, at the exact same moment that I myself had
discovered it: the Sixties.
I let the images of Bondrée surround me: the rain wet my clothes, and I
saw a man, poorly dressed, his hair long and dirty, who was silently following
the foxes. Peter Landry was born.
The next morning, I sat at my desk – which was in fact Gabrielle Roy’s desk –
and the story spread out in Landry’s wake: cottages
appeared around the lake, characters appeared in the cottages, traps appeared
in the woods, and a young girl named Zaza Mulligan, loudly singing her drunken
dreams, entered the woods…
Boundary started like this, from the lightly salty smells of a river to those of
a forest lake.
About the Author:
Andrée A Michaud is a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction (Le Ravissement in 2001 and Bondrée in 2014) and the recipient of the Arthur Ellis Award and the Prix Saint-Pacôme for best crime novel forBondrée, as well as the 2006 Prix Ringuet for Mirror Lake (adapted for the big screen in 2013). As she has done since her very first novel, Michaud fashions an eminently personal work that never ceases to garner praise from critics and avid mystery readers alike. In 2010, her thriller Lazy Bird, set to the rhythms of jazz, was published by Les Éditions du Seuil in France, as part of the Point Noir Collection.
Donald Winkler is a Canadian Documentary maker and French-to-English literary translator. He won the Canada's Governor General's Award for French to English translation in 1994, 2011 and 2013.
Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour: