by Catherine Eve Groleau
  • debut
  • from-quebec
  • indigenous
North America. The post-war years. The American dream is in full swing. Everyone is invited. And of course, for some, obstacles encountered along the way lead to prosperity and happiness. Such is the case of Johnny, born on an Indian reserve planted between Montreal and Quebec City. To escape poverty, Johnny moves to Montreal. With his dusky complexion and dark eyes, he is able to pass himself off as an Italian and begins to do the dirty work for petty criminals. A little smuggling before moving on to much riskier business. For Valentine, the path is shorter. To get away from the mind-numbing life in her shabby neighbourhood, she simply competes in a beauty pageant. She knows that she is beautiful and does not hesitate to employ her charms. Her blond hair and light eyes turn men’s heads. Johnny is not immune. Nothing, neither flight nor renunciations and sacrifice, will interrupt the one-way journey they have undertaken in an effort to change their life. This is the uneasy legacy they will pass on to their children.


Catherine Eve Groleau, author

Catherine Eve Groleau teaches French literature in Montreal. She wrote several short stories before this first novel, Johnny.


  • Une plume renversante. Un roman chavirant. Tout est bien dosé. Vraiment une œuvre magnifique, tragique, empreinte d’une grande violence. J’ai adoré ! - CISM
  • Une jeune auteure qui est, à mon humble avis, très très très talentueuse. Je pense que c’est un nom qui va revenir dans la littérature québécoise. Une histoire qui se déploie avec un vocabulaire riche, beaucoup d’images. J’ai beaucoup aimé. - Radio-Canada
  • Tragédie familiale québécoise échelonnée dans le temps et dispersée sur le territoire, ce premier roman est l’une des belles surprises de la rentrée littéraire 2017. Virtuose de la description, Catherine Eve Groleau sait rendre les époques et les ambiances au moyen des objets, des vêtements, des décors et des paysages qu’elle intègre à sa narration. Entre séduction et trahison, audace et maladresse, on s’attache immanquablement à cet univers dur et vibrant. - Les Libraires


  • Shortlisted, 2017 Prix littéraire France-Québec

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Les Éditions du Boréal



rights available: World

Additional Information

number of pages: 208

publication date: 09/19/2017

Original language of pub: French | Français

Materials Available: finished book