In this extraordinary breakout novel—a rich, devastatingly humorous epic of one unforgettable family—award-winning author Eric Dupont illuminates the magic of stories, the bonds of family, and the twists of fate and fortune to transform our lives.
Over the course of the twentieth century, three generations of the Lamontagnes will weather love, passion, jealousy, revenge, and death. Their complicated family dynamic—as dramatic as Puccini’s legendary opera, Tosca—will propel their rise, and fall, and take them around the world . . . until they finally confront the secrets of their complicated pasts.
Born on Christmas, Louis Lamontagne, the family’s patriarch, is a larger-than-life lothario and raconteur whose charms travel beyond Quebec all the way to Europe, where he is deployed for the US Army during World War II. We meet his daughter, Madeleine, who opens a successful chain of diners using the recipes from her grandmother, the original American Fiancée, and vows never to return to her hometown. And we end with her son Gabriel, who falls in love with a woman he follows to Berlin and discovers unexpected connections there to the Lamontagne family that reframe the entire course of the events in the book.
Eric Dupont, author
Born in 1970, Eric Dupont lives and works in Montreal. He has published five novels with Marchand de feuilles and in France with HarperCollins France, Éditions J’ai lu (Flammarion), and Éditions du Toucan. He is a past winner of Radio-Canada’s “Combat des livres” (the equivalent of the CBC’s "Canada Reads" contest), a finalist for the Prix littéraire France-Québec and the Prix des cinq continents, and a winner of the Prix des libraires and the Prix littéraire des collégiens. The English translation of La Fiancée américaine, The American Fiancée, was a finalist for the 2018 Giller Prize in Canada and in 2020 was published in English around the world by HarperVia, an imprint of HarperCollins.
- fiercely readable - Toronto Star
- highly recommended - Library Journal
- a rollicking riot of a novel […] magnificent - New Zealand Herald
- immensely entertaining […] spectacularly drives home the wonders of long-form storytelling - Booklist, STARRED review
- Dupont’s bruiser of a novel begins as a traditional family saga set in a small, early-20th-century Quebec village before swerving into new, less linear, and more psychologically demanding territory […] The sweet, sour, and salty world [Dupont] creates is thoroughly addictive - Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review
- masterful… heartbreaking and hilarious - Publishers Weekly
- spectacular… original in every sense - Literary Review of Canada
- Top 10 Canadian Novel of the Decade (as voted by the “Plus on est de fous, plus on lit” radio program)
- Winner, Prix des collégiens
- Winner, Prix des libraires du Québec
- Finalist, Governor General’s Award for Translation
- Finalist, Giller Prize – Canada’s top literary award
Rights Holder: Marchand de feuilles
rights sold: English (World), English (Canada)
rights available: World
age range: Adult
number of pages: 568
publication date: 10/04/2012
Original language of pub: Français
Materials Available: finished book
Additional Materials: Full English translation and German sample translation available