The Next Chapter

If you liked The Virgin Suicides, you'll love Boundary by Andrée A. Michaud

According to The Next Chapter listener Suzanne McLean, both books explore adulthood and the loss of childhood innocence.
Books The Virgin Suicides and Boundary are about adulthood and the loss of childhood innocence. (Knopf Random Vintage Canada, Biblioasis)

Listener Suzanne McLean from Collingwood, Ont., thinks that if you liked The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, then you'll love Boundary by Québéc-born writer Andrée A. Michaud. Here's why.

"I thought the books went well together because they're both narrated by people who grew up in a place that's now lost to them. There's a lot of grief over having grown into adulthood, a loss of childhood innocence and nostalgia for that place you can't go back to.

"The Virgin Suicides takes place in 1970s Michigan and it's narrated by a group of boys. We never know exactly which boy is narrating. They are telling the story of the five lesbian sisters who committed suicide for reasons no one can explain. They spend their lives obsessing over them and trying to figure out why this happened.

"Boundary takes place in a little summer community in the boundary of Maine in Québec. There are Québécois people and there are English-speaking Americans. Teenage girls go missing and there are multiple narrators.

"The most powerful narrator is a young girl. She's about 12 and she's been watching these older teenagers, just sort of idolizing them, and then they start to go missing. So she's looking back at this time.

"It's about the boundary between these two countries: between the U.S. and Canada. But, it's also about this boundary between childhood and adulthood, and the dangers that can come with growing into a woman.

"I thought they were both so beautifully written. So haunting and so atmospheric. They made you feel nostalgic for these two places."

Suzanne McLean's comments have been edited for length and clarity.


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