The fact of existence is an imperfect thing: here’s a rich, almost magical statement. Does this mean that imperfection contains a little magic? “If we want it, if we choose it.” The twenty fictions of Ciel mon mari teach that reality acquires its consistency through a set of overlays. A simple change in perspective often reveals other facets of our experiences. Changing, confident, or still exploring the issue, the characters of this book—Simone, Loan, Jean-Pierre Ferland, Marie, and the others—practice the art of illusion and scrutinize the thin veil that hangs in front of reality, paints a background, and sometimes lifts.
The many trompe-l’oeils that constitute Ciel mon mari shall be remembered, as “we remember the magic at times when we didn’t believe we would encounter it.”
Little time to read? This collection of short stories fits well with a sunny afternoon, while having lunch under a tree. Each story takes us to a series of universes painted in halftones. We meet a widower, a boy, a girl who plants trees, a whole cast of characters observed at a certain time in their lives. A clear style, without fuss, to be enjoyed in small doses.
As life does, Mylène Bouchard is often able to surprise her reader. Her books have a magic and fleeting beauty reminiscent of soap bubbles. We enjoy the show while it lasts, until it ends mysteriously, as if carried away by a sort of silent final brilliance.
About twenty short stories, fragments of life whose scope goes beyond words. … You shouldn’t read this book in one sitting. Bring it with you, leave it on your bedside table, open it at random, and let it work its magic.
We come out of this rough and uncompromising book with the feeling we’ve just met a true writer, with a clear and defined vision, for whom literature is not just a job but a way of seeing the world.
Josée Lapointe, La Presse
Fragments to be read slowly in order to let them settle. All marked with great delicacy, beautiful subtlety, and remarkable efficiency.
Yvon Paré, Progrès Dimanche
Beyond the stories about adultery, Ciel mon mari gathers tales of daring and escape, told from the point of view of those who kept secret certain dreams from elsewhere, dreams from others, even dreams of silence, quite simply. Between the lines of these short stories, except for Mylène Bouchard’s most clever of these (“La garçonnière”, we discover worlds that answer one another.
Using a style particularly suited to brevity, Mylène Bouchard pulls it off, managing to establish a unity, a tone, a voice.
Pascale Millot, Montréal Centre-ville
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