The Language Of Love Has Never
Been So Intoxicating
Montreal, 1951. Rebecca Wiseman, 18, a bright college student, lives with her working-class parents. At a local dance, she meets a handsome young man, but has little hope of seeing him again. When Sol Gottesman tracks her down and asks her on a date, her joy mingles with disbelief when she learns he is the son of a wealthy businessman. Sol takes her in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce to the most expensive restaurant in the city, introducing Rebecca to a world of upper-class wealth and privilege. Rebecca is head over heels in love and believes her life is perfect. But despite Sol’s outward charm, he lacks self-confidence and is mistrustful. He reveals the simmering conflicts in his family and his fears that his brother plans to drive him out of the family business. Rebecca, headstrong but naïve; wants to protect Sol and help him to stand up to the pressure from his family. Soon after their engagement, a shocking family secret of child abuse comes to the surface. Rebecca tries to convince Sol that her love and support is all he needs. Shortly before their wedding, Sol disappears. Rebecca’s search to discover what has happened to him becomes even more desperate when she realizes she is pregnant.
Storytelling of the highest order and an enthralling evocation of a bygone Canadian era Riese creates an emotional eddy that draws you further in from one page to the next. Underpinned by a keen and tactile sense of human intimacy it is refreshingly devoid of clichés whilst beneath his acerbic prose beat the heart of a protagonist it’s a privilege to get to know. Blending period social and cultural influences with enjoyable storytelling is far from straightforward but Riese achieves it with a poignant sense of immediacy by inhabiting the minds of his characters which in turn makes them come alive. A story like this could have gone a dozen different ways, depending on who was writing it, but Riese is so fresh in his writing that Rebecca Wiseman never feels trite or laden down with genre tropes. Relationship dynamics are wonderfully observed whilst the mystery surrounding Sol’s disappearance is cleverly pitched to deliver a romantic tragedy with all the hallmarks of a best seller
A genuine page-turner that will be thoroughly enjoyed by fans of finer literature,
Echo from Mount Royal is unreservedly recommended.
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