Like many areas in metropolitan cities across the country, Pointe St-Charles, a historic neighbourhood in Montreal, is on the brink of becoming gentrified. Maddy, Fara and Rose are three women at different stages of their lives and experiencing the Pointe in different capacities. Each of them are battling their own inner demons, from family tragedies to kidnapping to the rundown neighbourhood they once knew, changing before their eyes. Only when the three women confront years of buried secrets will they begin to move forward in step with their surroundings.
While I’ve only been to Montreal a handful of times, I immediately felt this story’s theme of gentrification and revitalization relatable and relevant to the Toronto area. So many neighbourhoods are undergoing a similar metamorphosis, but one that especially comes to mind is the Liberty Village and surrounding area of Toronto. I, myself, lived in the first condo that was built there, many years ago, just when it was transitioning from an industrial plot of land to an apparent “up and coming area”. Taking a look at that part of the city now and it’s unrecognizable, even in the relative short amount of time – at this point – under 10 years. Five Roses, to me, felt like a glimpse into that kind of moment when houses and streets were on the cusp of changing.
Each chapter in this novel is told from a different character’s perspective. The women telling their tales as they maneuver the shaky territories of friendships, relationships and loss in all different forms. As the story unfolds, Zorn weaves all of the tendrils into a connected narrative. As the novel progresses, different elements get revealed, allowing the readers to piece together the bigger picture. Supporting characters cross chapters, and I loved catching a glimpse of these “cameos” in the other women’s lives. Several mysterious connections get established and are slowly drawn out into the open in the well-paced storytelling.
I really enjoyed Five Roses and how the lives of the women get interwoven. While I did find it a bit slow for me in the beginning, I definitely couldn’t put it down once more of the characters got a chance to tell their stories. Each of the women had interesting tales to tell but I was completely enthralled by Fara and her house. A great work of Canadian literature, with the very timely theme of revitalization and change.
Five Roses Blog Tour
Want to find out what others thought of the book? Check out the other stops of the Five Roses blog tour this week!
- July 25: Literary Treats
- July 26: Just a Lil Lost
- July 27: Padfoots Library
- July 28: Literary Hoarders
- July 29: Lost in a Great Book
The lovely team at Dundurn Press has graciously given me 3 copies of Five Roses to give away to some lucky readers!
You can enter to win one below, and visit my Instagram for 2 more chances to win the book!
- Open to Canadian residents
- Contest closes August 1, 2016 11:59pm EST
- Prize will be mailed out by Dundurn Press
- JustALilLost is not responsible for lost or stolen packages.