With her Irish story-telling lilt, the author spins tales of literary fiction based upon her early years in Quebec City in the 1940s and ’50s. We meet Johnny and Marie-Ange, their marriage reflecting the French-English component of the city. We meet Johnny’s sister, the flambouyant Francie, who makes salads at the Chateau Frontenac for Premier Duplessis. We meet the string of neighbours who move in and out of the first-floor apartment on Rue St. Joachim. We know there will be trouble with the tavern next to the church and with sharp-tongued neighbours who keep their eyes on everyone’s private lives.
The inspiration for the title comes from Robert Schumann’s suite of short piano pieces, “Scenes from Childhood.” The author — musician, singer and conductor — with her husband, John, founded the Donovan Chorale, and later the Chanteurs d’Orphée de Montréal. They live in Montreal and summer in the Kingston Peninsula, New Brunswick.
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