The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

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9780002006309: The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

From the author of the international bestseller Lullabies for Little Criminals, a coming-of-age novel set on the seedy side of Montreal’s St. Laurent Boulevard

Gorgeous twins Noushcka and Nicolas Tremblay live with their grandfather Loulou in a tiny, sordid apartment on St. Laurent Boulevard. They are hopelessly promiscuous, wildly funny and infectiously charming. They are also the only children of the legendary Québécois folksinger Étienne Tremblay, who was as famous for his brilliant lyrics about working-class life as he was for his philandering bon vivant lifestyle and his fall from grace. Known by the public since they were children as Little Noushcka and Little Nicolas, the two inseparable siblings have never been allowed to be ordinary. On the eve of their twentieth birthday, the twins’ self-destructive shenanigans catch up with them when Noushcka agrees to be beauty queen in the local St. Jean Baptiste Day parade. The media spotlight returns, and the attention of a relentless journalist exposes the cracks in the family’s relationships. Though Noushcka tries to leave her family behind, for better or worse, Noushcka is a Tremblay, and when tragedy strikes, home is the only place she wants to be.

With all the wit and poignancy that made Baby such a beloved character in Lullabies for Little Criminals, O’Neill writes of an unusual family and what binds them together and tears them apart. The Girl Who Was Saturday Night is classic, unforgettable Heather O’Neill.

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About the Author:

HEATHER O’ NEILL’s first novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, earned accolades around the world, including being named winner of Canada Reads 2007 and the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, and being a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Orange Prize. She is a regular contributor to CBC Books, CBC Radio, National Public Radio, The New York Times Magazine, The Gazette (Montreal) and The Walrus. She was born in Montreal, where she currently lives.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* The girl of the title is Nouschka Tremblay; she and her twin brother, Nicholas, are the 19-year-old children of Étienne Tremblay, a once-famous folksinger and composer who, though his career is now in eclipse, is still celebrated. The twins, high-school dropouts and adrift, are famous, too, their every move reported in the tabloids. Set in Montreal in the 1990s, the story, told by Nouschka, follows her attempts to straighten out her life even as her brother’s becomes ever more erratic. Raised by their elderly grandfather, the twins live together on the edge of poverty, and Nicholas has resorted to petty thievery to support himself. Meanwhile, Nouschka has become a student in night school, hoping to receive her high-school diploma, go on to college, and become a writer. Her plans are interrupted when she falls in love with Raphael, who may be schizophrenic. Complications ensue. O’Neill (Lullabies for Little Criminals, 2006) has written a marvelously intriguing novel of a family in dissolution, each member of which is richly and memorably characterized. A secondary theme involving the Quebec separatist movement evokes the possible separation of the intense bond that has characterized the twins’ lives. The book is beautifully written, particularly rich in simile and metaphor (“The pink clouds in the sky were delicates soaking in the sink”; “The notes from the piano were like raindrops falling on the lake”). Compulsively readable, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night is a delight for any night. --Michael Cart

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