One Novel You'll Wish You Could Live In!
No … Despite that yummy photo of a luscious quiche on its cover, this book is not a cookbook! But the small French-Canadian mill town of Beauchemins, Rhode Island is certainly brewing up a recipe for disaster in Eva Pasco’s alluring novel, “An Enlightening Quiche”!
With such an unassuming title, one goes into “An Enlightening Quiche” thinking it might relate a simple story—one of no consequence to a single soul except those who live between the pages of Pasco’s novel, but nothing could be further from the truth. “An Enlightening Quiche” is as descriptively written as it is elegantly told with colorful, vivid characters that easily come to life before your very eyes! While meandering through the elegantly designed maze of events the author weaves in this story of four friends—some gone astray of one another—and the microcosmic world they center their lives around, I found myself, a lifetime mill town New Englander of French Canadian descent, growing as comfortable and invested in this tale as I would be sitting in my own Memere Irene et Pepere Arthur’s kitchen on any given day listening to a roster of family gossip and oft-derived suppositions!
Indeed idle gossip is the order of the day in Beauchemins as neighbors engage in observation, accusation, and instigation against neighbors without ever confronting them in public or face-to-face. And it is gossip that tears apart everything the good citizens of Beauchemin have tried so hard to protect when an unleashed argument between two jealous teenage girls—formerly, les meilleur des amies—ensues! Tabernak! Here, Pasco’s writing excels when she disseminates the litany of well-kept, profound secrets that unfurl in the wake of les jeunes femmes’ discourse, disrupting the entire balance of the tiny community and tearing apart her beloved characters’ lives. The revelation of personal burdens and family crosses that have been borne—ranging from alcoholism to common theft to adultery to hidden birth defects—rents apart the very fabric of Beauchemins, but speaks volumes about the author’s ability to completely disarm her reader with the pleasures and comforts of home just before the bomb planted underfoot explodes!
Simply put, Eva Pasco’s “An Enlightening Quiche” is a masterpiece! In the end, I regretfully extricated myself from this well-spun and ethnically familiar tale that—at times—not only pulled at my heartstrings … but tore them out! Ask me on any given day if I miss sitting in my Memere et Pepere’s kitchen, savoring a creamy wedge of quiche, sliced toast with Gorton, and a strong cup of hot coffee, while gossip about the neighbors and estranged family members circles with the steam from our mugs overhead, and I’ll probably shed more than a few tears as memories of those long ago days flit across my mind. That is the feeling I got reading “An Enlightening Quiche”—a feeling that made me want to jump into its pages and settle myself right at home … if only for a short while!
Merci, Eva Pasco, c’est magnifique!
Note: This book review has also been posted on Amazon.com and Goodreads!
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