I have been in Montreal for the past week. I’ve been wandering the narrow streets near the Jacques Cartier Bridge, the blue-collar area of east end Montreal. Charles the Bold, a novel by Canadian writer Yves Beauchemin, has taken me on an extraordinary literary journey. A journey so compelling I didn’t want it to end.
Charles the Bold is about a boy growing up against a backdrop of political events in Quebec. Deep into the night it turned the pages and followed Charles Thibodeau from his birth in l966 until he reached high school. I didn’t want to leave Charles. I loved his charm, his intelligence and his courage.
Happily I didn’t have to say goodby to Charles. Our Ladner Library had volume two, the years of Fire and volume three, A Very Bold Leap. I read veryslowly. To savor every word, to stay with Charles, to walk with him on this journey.