Emily's Reviews > Last Night in Montreal

Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel
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Jan 28, 2010

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"Last Night in Montreal" is the story of several dysfunctional characters. Lilia is abducted at age 7 by her father, who did not have custody of her. She and her father spend the next 9 years traveling from place to place avoiding investigators. It comes as no surprise that as an adult Lilia is incapable of staying in one place for too long. She roams the country, leaving a trail of jilted lovers in her wake. Which brings us to Eli, an untethered intellectual who inexplicably cannot let go of Lilia after when she leaves him after a six month relationship. Two other main characters play a lead role in this novel: Christopher, a private investigator obsessed with the case of Lilia and her father; and Michaela, Christopher's daughter, whom he abandoned and who later inherits her father's interest in the case. Their paths cross throughout the book and their lives are intertwined, leading to tragic consequences.

This debut novel, aside from some minor time sequencing issues, is well-written. However, the author fails to fully develop any of the characters. As a result, the reader feels a bit disconnected and thus cannot become emotionally involved with them. Overall, this is a quick, pleasant read, but it leaves the reader a little disappointed in the end.


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