Twenty-One Cardinals

Client: Coach House Books
Author: Jocelyne Saucier

Jocelyne Saucier’s novel, originally published in French, hit a bit of a personal note: the Cardinal family grew up in a once-prosperous mining town in northern Quebec, eerily similar to the one in Ontario where my father was raised. So I understood about the tailings and slag heaps and blowing up of rock.

There are twenty-one children in the Cardinal family, and at a reunion when all have grown up, a mystery persists about one of their own: is she alive? Where is she? What happened? Told from many perspectives, the reader pieces together the fragments of memory to reveal the whole story. So, I assembled this mystery sister out of exploding rock. Seems fitting.