From Manitoba to Québec | The Quebec Journal

After the resounding success of his first novel, red river loversFrench writer Marie-France Desmaray proposes the continuation of the adventures of her heroine Rose Guilbaud, who arrived in Canada as a baby, in The whirlwind of illusions. In the early 1940s, Rose, who had become a nurse, left her adopted Manitoba and got a job at the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Angus plant in Montreal. There she will have a decisive encounter… that will force her to ask herself many questions.

Rose Guilbaud is the daughter of Louise, a French woman who had decided to rebuild her life in Canada. She is happy in her small francophone community in Manitoba. But when the threat of global conflict becomes a reality, she decides to join the war effort.

Defying her mother, the young nurse leaves for Montreal, where she meets Robert O’Neil, an army instructor who spent his childhood in the Magdalena Islands. Rose falls madly in love with her. But is it a relationship with a future or an illusion?

Marie-France Desmaray, a writer with a passion for the history of Francophone communities in Manitoba, revisited the context of the 1940s to portray this young woman yearning for modernity.

“It’s a lot of research work. I’m a book lover and since I spend my time searching the internet for references, as soon as I find something I order it! I bought books about the Magdalena Islands. Jacqueline Blay in Manitoba also helps me tremendously. This powerful ally has a master’s degree in Canadian history from the University of Manitoba and is president of the Société historique de Saint-Boniface and Maison Gabrielle-Roy, in Manitoba.

The taste of the islands

Rose, in the novel, falls in love with Madelinot Robert O’Neil.

“Do you know how it came about? When I was at the Salon du livre de Québec, there was an author who was next to me. She was from the Magdalen Islands. We talked a lot and she gave me a taste for these islands. And where I live, in Vendée, we are by the sea. I love the sea and I am passionate about all things maritime and the Maddalena Islands, that really spoke to me.”

In the novel, Rose therefore leaves the prairies and heads for Montreal.

“I felt that I had greatly exploited Manitoba in red river lovers so I found it interesting to take the readers on a journey. Here in Europe, all my readers loved discovering this province. But talking about a better known province with Quebec is fine. It makes you travel. »

Marie-France Desmaray feels, after two books, that she knows the Francophone regions of Canada better.

“It made me evolve in terms of my characters. when i wrote red river loversIt had no perspective and for me, it stopped there. But I got carried away by the enthusiasm of the readers who were waiting for a sequel. »

  • Marie-France Desmaray had a resounding success with her first novel, red river lovers.
  • A third volume will be published next year.
  • He lives in Vendée, France.


Mary France Desmaray

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