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My Evangeline Paperback – Oct 25 2011
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About the Author
HEIDI RADFORD LEGG has written six screenplays and piles of essays and poems. Born in New Brunswick, Canada, she has long admired the beauty and character of the Acadian people with whom she shared many idle unfettered summer days in her youth and… more than a few missed curfews. She has a graduate degree in journalism from Concordia University in Montreal and now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and two children, a short walk from Longfellow's home. This is her first novel. www.heidilegg.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Eve reluctantly agrees to her father's pressure and goes to school in Montreal instead of America where she meets a man of money, influence and ulterior motives. As she gets involved in the separatist movement for Quebec she learns that all is not as it seems.
This book was a departure for me from my usual reading material and that is why I so love reviewing books. It gives me the opportunity to read stories I might not have otherwise found. It challenges me to look to different genres where I find gems like this.
I found myself very involved in Eve's life as she found herself torn between her father and her boyfriend. Eve is a very young character and she has some growing up to do as she is faced with life's decisions and her parent's past. A book I truly enjoyed and I suspect would be especially good for lover's of Longfellow's heroine.
This novel should resonate with anyone who has faced tough choices through the often treacherous journey into adulthood. My Evangeline
Eighteen year-old Eve LeBlanc is a gifted artist from the rural town of Shediac, New Brunswick in Canada's largely French-speaking Acadia region -- also home to the literary figure Eve was named for: the heroine of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's great epic poem, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie. When Eve is accepted to study at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design near Brown University where her American boyfriend, Max, is enrolled, she's faced with a choice between following the man she loves and fulfilling her father's dream for her by going to school in Montreal.
Her father, however, has decided to make this choice for her. A lonesome widow still deeply pained by the death of Eve's mother decades earlier, he believes it is Eve's destiny to move to Montreal, where her mother was an activist for the Quebec sovereignty movement in the late 1970s. Quietly and cunningly, he snuffs out Eve's temptation to pack up and move to Rhode Island as Max has been begging her to do by intercepting Max's phone calls and messages, causing the young couple to distrust and feel betrayed by one another.
This tension alone was enough to keep me turning the pages voraciously. Yet exquisite prose, a beautifully-executed structure and echos from French-speaking Canada's turbulent past demanded that I slow down and savor this gem of a book. The omniscient third-person narrative moves seamlessly from the mind of one character to the next. Parallels with Longfellow's poem add a rich literary dimension. And glimpses of the Montreal art scene -- classrooms, galleries, private parties and collections on the walls of homes -- transported me so effectively that by the time Eve eventually finds her niche in Montreal I was thrilled that she was there to be my private guide even if this meant her separation from Max.
In Montreal, Eve becomes the protegee of an influential art dealer and befriends a key figure in Quebec's sovereignty movement in the lead-up to the 1995 referendum. The plot leading Eve to ultimately make a choice of her own unfolds amid rowdy independence demonstrations and attempts to sabotage the movement from which I learned a great deal about this fascinating moment in North American history, and its roots.
I'd highly recommend My Evangeline, and think that Heidi Legg is a talented author to follow!
Set in 1995, the book follows Eve, as she caves in to her father's wishes, leaving Max in the lurch, and going to Montreal.
Once there, she meets a group of protesters, and gets involved with a mysterious man, who has an odd interest in her. Having failed to get Eve's father back into the cause, Narcisste, offers Eve a place to paint, as well as the excitement of going out at night to protest.
When Eve overhears his real plan, she is shocked and disgusted. A dark secret in her parents past is about to come to light, when tragedy strikes, flinging Eve into emotional turmoil.
I found myself getting irritated at the characters, because they were all so manipulative, but Eve was young and sheltered so she at least has an excuse. I did like the story, though. It was new and fresh, a real coming of age story. I like learning new things, and I had not heard much about Acadians or the protesting in Canada.
I don't know much about this time in Canada, for which my kids chastised me, but it happened long after I was out of school, and I don't pay much attention to Canadian news. (shame on me). It was an interesting time.
I received this book from the author for review. Thank you!
Received from Goodreads to review.