The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, Heather O’Neill


“One of the reasons that I wanted to study literature was because it exposed everything. Writers looked for secrets that had never been mined. Every writer has to invent their own magical language, in order to describe the indescribable. They might seem to be writing in French, English, or Spanish, but really they were writing in the language of butterflies, crows, and hanged men.”

I’ve read some terrible books this Bookstravaganza, but this was not one of them. This was genuinely lovely, and I need to comment that every book I’ve read off this year’s Giller shortlist was equally lovely (although Miriam Toews was robbed, I tell you! Robbed!).

Matthew read this partway through the month, and he had similar feelings towards it. He also commented that he ‘cursed the solitary act of reading,’ and I agree wholeheartedly. Nouschka Tremblay is the type of character I want to make everybody read about. I want to walk up to people and quote this book at them. There’s something about coming-of-age novels in referendum Quebec that I find irresistible. O’Neill renders all that youthful angst and political upheaval through her fantastic protagonist – seriously, Nouschka is so good – and there are also all these cats. Cats everywhere. You should probably read it. Right away.

Books read: 33


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