A powerful, gently surreal tale of a community at the edge of the modern world.
On the fringes of a small town in the Laurentians lives a community of misfits. There's Lila, the landlady of the forest who shoulders a terrible guilt; the young, beautiful and carefree Violette, who bears deep childhood scars, and the boy Jeremy, who whispers his confessions to the frogs and ants in the forest. There's Claire, who writes murder scenes, and Simon, who cares for his brother's son while pining for various women.
Each character has come to this forgiving Eden to escape some private trauma; forced to interact through loneliness and proximity, they learn each othersí secrets, with stunning consequences.
Told from the perspective of each character, shifting between the past and the present, Wildlives takes the reader on a fantasy ride of intrigue and character exploration. With its existential mystery, evocation of unspoiled nature and spectacular characters, the novel brings to mind Paul Auster, Henry David Thoreau and Isabelle Allende.
"Proulx's writing has a rhythm that mimics nature itself -- sometimes necessarily harsh, at times calm and peaceful, but mostly forgiving and beautiful."
"[Monique Proulx] has chosen here to venture outside her usual urban settings, to confront the intoxicating, dizzyingly full-of-life region we call, with so little hope of possessing it, Nature."
"This is a book to savor on summer afternoons in the country...[Proulx] plunges into the Laurentian landscape in this multi-faceted novel."
"Monique Proulx has created a magical universe in the forest, peopled by characters with whom the reader will have deep sympathy. And in translation, I did not know that I was reading a novel originally written in French."