Saturday, 28 August 2021

Crossing the City

Finished August 24
Crossing the City by Michel Tremblay, translated by Sheila Fischman

I read the first book in this series Crossing the Continent a few years ago. This picks up shortly after that book left off, and Nana has been in Montreal for a few months now. Part of the reason that she is there is to look after her infant brother Theo, something she resented at first, but she has now grown fond of him. As the first World War has begun, Nana is worried about the safety of her family in Montreal and comes up with a plan to keep them safe.
We also see the story of her mother Maria, as she makes the decision to leave Providence, Rhode Island, where she has been living for years. She has a brother in the RCMP who lives in Montreal, and sisters there as well. She has been seeing an older man after the supposed death of her husband, who did not return from a sea voyage, and who she suspects has a second family elsewhere. Finding herself pregnant and faced with a dilemma, she decides it is time to return to Canada with and ask her brother for assistance. 
We see her reception in Montreal and the family interaction as she reunites with her siblings. 
With Nana, as we see her go off to set her plan in motion, we see the decisions that she makes and how she deals with unexpected obstacles. For some, she takes actions herself, and for others, she is given advice by kind strangers. Nana grows here, in experience and knowledge, and has good instincts. She observes the workplaces of her mother and aunt and sees how they are different than what she envisioned. 
I liked seeing both these characters dealing with difficult decisions and circumstances and making a choice that feels right for them. 

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