Emma and Gregory are elated when given the opportunity to adopt a pair of twin boys from Russia. It’s a dream come true. But from the moment they board the plane home, the twins begin to demonstrate behaviour that grows increasingly ominous, driving a wedge between Emma and Gregory, and alienating their friends and family.
The brothers show a worrying lack of empathy, and seem to leave behind a trail of disturbing incidents. Rumours persist as the boys grow into teenagers—even as Emma continues to cling to her dream of the perfect family. A dark, violent, and tense novel, Daniil and Vanya shows the bond between parent and child gone brutally awry.
“Daniil and Vanya has none of the gentleness for which Canadian literature is sometimes known. It’s savage, direct, and shocking. Marie-Hélène Larochelle’s academic work focuses on violence and vulgarity in French literature, which she explores in this novel without the filter of Canadian politeness. The book goes in swinging and doesn’t stop until it’s gripped you with its haunting brutality to where you can’t look away.”—note from the translator Michelle Winters, Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated author of I Am a Truck