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The Four Roads Hotel
Guernica Editions, Fall 2017
108 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN13: 9781771832106
ISBN10: 177183210X
English
Translated from the French
$20.00 Canada, $20.00 US

This history of oppression and its effects, at the heart of a French-Canadian family in the 1950s and 1960s, depicts a combination of prohibitions and censures. While the father demands the children's slavish obedience and labour, the mother promises some protection from his tyranny--until the family settles into a flea pit hotel at the cross-roads of a practically deserted village. Surrounded by an impenetrable forest, the hotel hosts regulars that resemble characters from Hugo and Gorki, and family life declines. In hopes of escape, the younger daughter marries while the elder, against her parents' wishes, immerses herself in studies and asks questions whose answers are disturbing.
We children adopted submissive behaviour. Some of us practised the humility that is fitting for inferiors. We put on acts of gratefulness. "Thank you" and "excuse me" came to our lips at the slightest instance. Our mother tamed us, as she put it.

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