Prague by Maude Veilleux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prague by Maude Veilleux

Quebecian fiction

Original title – Prague

Translators – Aleshia Jensen and Aimee Wall

Source – review copy

I said a couple of weeks ago how much of a fan I am of the books that the Canadian publisher QC is bringing us from Quebec each is as different as the last and that is the case here last time it was a single female struggling abroad and now we have a married female trying to escape her life. Maude Veilleux is doing a master in French. This is her second novel and is known for addressing social media and narrative identity in her books. Here she tackles the dilema of a modern marriage. This is her first novel to be translated to English.

I found it easy, being with two men at once. I had my husband and I had my lover. I felt no guilt. I wasn’t lying to either of them. I kept some details to myself, but I didn’t lie. My lover often said to me: there’s no way your husband isn’t jealous.

I loved it when he said that. It showed that what we were doing meant something to him. I’d say: he’s not jealous at all, it’s not in his nature.

I liked the balancing act, the work the situation required. I had to cloak the truth so that each felt indispensible.It was easy, because they wer. They were indispensable to me.

Early on as she loves the thrill of juggling to men at once.

This is a strange book as it blurs the lines between narrative and reality for the narrator is a woman that has gone into an open marriage The love is there but the desire of earlier in the marriage has ebbed away. As her husband has decided to have a fling with a man and is happy to let her have flings. This leads her to start a relationship with Sebastian who works in the same bookshop as she does they have an arrangement and he has a flatmate this is all ok as the fiction Maude explores her body with another man but as the lines start to blur this becomes a woman looking at her life in fiction as a novel of her relationship with voyeuristic sex scenes this is a strange book it is one of those that is about those questions every relationship has at some point and that is what to do when the love there but the excitement of sexual passion has died. All this is a Canadian winter as the lover dream of escaping to Prague and another life.

People read me as vunerable. I take care to look pretty. Perfectly groomed. perfectly made up. Batting my lashes with timed grace. Resting my elegant hands with poise. My fragilityis my strength. But what they don’t know is that I’m a force of s=destruction, an enchantress, The prey and the predator. Both at once, I’m the noe who does the asking. I’m the onw who sets the limit.

Later on still strong but maybe an underlying weakness and vunreability starting to appear. in our narrator

This is what I love about Quebecian fiction this is like an espresso shot of modern married life short very strong and giving you a kick. It has a sparse prose style with blasts of voyeuristic sex and a narrative that crosses from the personal to the writer’s voice as the lines of the narrator’s life blur is this autofiction or fiction as her and Sebastian dream of escaping their lives and going to Prague. As they make love. This questions what you do in a modern marriage when each person has different desires and will it work out. As I said this is an espresso of a book a shot to get you going as a reader it is such a short book it can be read in an evening.

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