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The First Garden

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3.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  81 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Flora Fontages is a famous Parisian actress who has been in exile from her native Canada for twenty years. When word comes that her long-estranged daughter, Maud, has disappeared in Quebec City, she decides to return home, accepting the part of Winnie, the old crone in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days, at a local theatre. The visit unexpectedly turns into a devastating confront ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by House of Anansi Press (first published 1988)
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Rojo
Mar 25, 2014 Rojo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not even sure how to really review this book.

For starters, it's weird. I'm just going to throw that out here right now, it's weird. This book is the great beginnings of a Cannes Film Festival movie: something that you watch just to say that you've seen a foreign film, but you have no idea what it is about.
On the other side of this, it gives the reader a lot to think about in a way. Flora Fontanges is an actress, exiled from Quebec for twenty years, comes back to audition for a part, oh, and
...more
Patrick Robitaille

***

WARNING: My rating might be slightly biased, as the author was born less than 10km from my hometown.

I was quite happy when the randomizer elected to choose this novel, one of the only written by French Canadian (or, rather, Québécois) authors (the other being The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy). However, I was slightly disappointed when I finished reading it, as it was definitely not as good as I expected, considering its presence on the List. It follows Flora Fontanges, a theater actress living

...more
Robert
Jun 12, 2016 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Flora is an actress in France, however she gets called to play Winnie in Beckett’s Happy Days in Quebec so she moves there. On the way she tries to seek out her estranged daughter Maude and meets up with her boyfriend Raphael. On this journey Flora starts to mix up her past roles in the theatre with her past life as an adopted child and then her early years as an actress. In this encounter with her past Flora rediscovers herself and learns how to cope with her present life.

I have to say that thi
...more
Dominic Bellavance
Pour moi qui ne suis pas un grand fan d'Anne Hébert, je trouve que Le Premier Jardin a de grandes qualités. Avec une plume complexe mais riche, l'auteur nous amène dans la ville de Québec à différentes époques, notamment à l'ère où les Filles du Roy ont débarqué sur nos quais. On y découvre la situation peu banale des femmes à ces siècles. À lire, sauf si vous êtes contre le gaspillage de papier (si on éliminait les blancs, on couperait facilement la moitié des pages du livre.)
Artemis
Dec 15, 2011 Artemis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
J'ai lu le roman pour mon cours de littérature, c'est mon premier roman de Anne Hebert. Le passé et présent sont mélangé dans cette histoire où le personnage principale, Flora Flontanges revisite les fantômes de sa passé. On voit l'évolution de son esprit et la reconstruction de son identité, en même temps on apprend peu d'histoire du Québec.

(side note- I'm just learning french, so don't mind my grammar if there are mistakes:])
Liz M
Jun 03, 2016 Liz M marked it as own
Shelves: __read, 1001
Catherine
Un gros 4.5*. C'est peut-être difficile à croire, mais au bout de seulement 30 pages, j'étais complètement happée par l'histoire. J'ai immédiatement remarqué une ressemblance avec les oeuvres de Marie Laberge. J'ose croire qu'elle s'en est inspirée ou que ça l'a influencée. 4.5* parce que les blancs m'ont un peu dérangé...
Lindsey Reyes
Oct 06, 2010 Lindsey Reyes is currently reading it
Shelves: class, french
Je ne comprends bien jusqu'au maintenant, mais je sens que Hebert est une auteur genial! J'espere de comprener mieux et de finir cette livre dans le futur tres proche.
Biogeek
May 26, 2012 Biogeek rated it liked it
A dense and literary read about the difficulties of returning home. But also an interesting exploration of character and personality.
Ted
Jun 18, 2011 Ted rated it really liked it
Anne Hebert is a great writer. There is so Quebec culture that helps nurture the creation of really wonderful literature.
Véronique
Jul 27, 2011 Véronique rated it liked it
Se revoir quand on était enfant. BEAU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Anne Hébert was born on August 1, 1916 in Sainte-Catherine-de-Fossambault, a small village 40 kilometers from Québec city. Born into a well-respected Québec family, whose ancestors included some of the earliest settlers of New France, Hébert was encouraged in her literary endeavours by her cousin, the poet Hector de Saint-Denis Garneau. The greatest influence on her writing, however, was undoubted ...more
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