10 Great Novels about Montreal

Montreal has a rich history of novels in the world of fiction. Here is a selection of 10 great novels about Montreal that will help you travel to this fascinating city without leaving your armchair.<

1. Perhaps one of the best known novels is The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler. The book was made into a movie in 1973 starring Richard Dreyfuss and Randy Quaid. A great example of Richler’s satirical view of life, it is also a sympathetic story of a young man, a third-generation Jewish immigrant, who wants to succeed in the eyes of his father and grandfather.

2. Earth and High Heaven is a 1944 novel by Gwethalyn Graham. It reached number one on The New York Times bestseller list – a first for a Canadian novel – and stayed on the list for 37 weeks. A young woman from a wealthy Protestant family in Westmount falls in love with a Jewish lawyer from Ontario. They are forced to overcome the anti-Semitism of their society. The book won the Governor General’s Literary Award in 1944.

3. Nikolski, by Nicolas Dickner, won many awards including the Governor General’s Award for French fiction in 2005. The novel brings together three semi-nomadic 20-somethings living in the Plateau. Set in Montreal, the novel radiates deep, yet entertaining, musings on the meaning of home.

4. The House on Black Lake is a modern day gothic suspense/romance novel by an American novelist, Anastasia Blackwell. The book is a mesmerizing trip through the Montreal underworld, where Gypsies, fortune tellers and mystics create their own rules. The book tells the story of a woman’s obsession for a man leading her into secrets, betrayal and shocking fate.

5. Echo from Mount Royal takes place in 1951 Montreal, vividly re-created by the author Dave Riese. The novel tells the story of Rebecca Wiseman, an eighteen-year-old from a working class, Catholic-Jewish family in Outremont. A chance meeting with Sol Gottesman, the Jewish orthodox son of a wealthy Westmount businessman, begins an affair fulfilling her romantic dreams. When class, sexual inexperience and family secrets test their love, Rebecca struggles to control events with humor and compassion. But a late night phone call and its shocking revelation changes her life forever. Continue reading

Writers Critique Group

Currently, I am ‘workshopping’ the last two chapters of my novel in the Merrimack Publishing Writers Critique Group. The suggestions and concerns voiced by other writers are invaluable, often pointing out connections and possibilities that I haven’t thought of. More importantly, they identify passages where the characters act unbelievably or where a section is too long.

Sometimes the criticism is hard to take, but every comment has at least a grain of truth which must be considered. When I first submitted the last two chapters in June, I faced a chorus of negative feedback; one reader said, “You must have the two main characters meet one last time.” I rewrote the two chapters and they are stronger and more satisfying. I will hear what they think on August 26.

Read the first 25 pages of Echo from Mount Royal here.

The title of the novel was recently changed. The former title Will I Ever Know? was a temporary working title. The new title refers to Rebecca’s three visits to the mountain in the center of Montreal. (Plus I can use the teaser “What does she see from Mount Royal?” in my marketing campaign.)

The novel is currently in the hands of the copyeditor; his suggestions will be ready by the end of August. I will spend September making the changes and undertaking a final read-through. The next step will be proofreading. In the meantime I am thinking about a book cover and the wording for the front and back covers.

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