Posted by jack_miller | Published 6 months ago

With 15 ratings

By: Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette and Rhonda Mullins

Purchased At: $3.20 (38 used & new offers)

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette never knew her grandmother Suzanne, an artist who abandoned her husband and children in her youth and never looked back. The Escape Artist is a fictionalized account of Suzanne’s life over 85 years, taking readers through Québec’s Quiet Revolution and the American civil rights movement, offering a portrait of a volatile woman on the margins of history.
It was interesting from a historical point of view, but the story of this person's life was ghastly, difficult to read & I couldn't wait to be finished with it. Starts horrible, ends worse.

- everlee_morris

(Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for an ARC. This is the same review I posted on Edelweiss.)

Suzanne is a fictionalized biography of the author's grandmother. Anais Barbeau-Lavalette's grandmother, the eponymous Suzanne, abandoned Barbeau-Lavalette's mother and uncle at a young age and went on to live on the fringes of important artistic and political movements throughout most of her lifetime.

From the first line, I was hooked. Barbeau-Lavalette's writing is beautiful and poetic. Suzanne is written in the 2nd person and the reader is invited to empathize with a mother who left her children, a woman who alienates herself from family while searching for her place in society.

This book is more the author's way of learning to love her estranged grandmother than a straightforward biography. Many feelings are evoked for Suzanne, empathy, anger, disgust, and admiration to name a few. But in some ways, along with the author, we start to understand Suzanne and maybe forgive her.

I really enjoyed Suzanne and found it hard to put down. Suzanne Meloche is a very interesting figure who I loved learning about. Reading this book gave me some insight to history but mostly an insight into parts of the human experience that are sometimes difficult to understand.

- angel_peterson

This is a fictional biography of the author's grandmother, Suzanne. Suzanne leaves her husband and child to become an artist and political activist. The story is told through the eyes of her granddaughter as she tries to understands her grandmother and her mother. She uncovers her grandmother's and Canadian's history. The book is beautifully written and I enjoyed reading it. Enjoy

- taliyah_garcia

I read the beautifully written book on my wife's recommendation. I read it in less than a day. I learned about the "AutomatIstes" and more. It is difficult for me to understand the actions of the main character, but it was a fascinating read, full of love, adventure and willingness to transcend.

- brian_taylor

Didn't like any part of the book. Read most of it, Couldn't continue Skipped to the end but still was
not interesting. One of the worst books I've "tried to read". Just not my style. Hopefully someone else!

- zariyah_lewis

Beautifully written and honest, but found the character of Suzanne infuriating. An interesting social history, but not the best book!

- declan_thomas

I really like the way this book was written. The short segments flowed together. Mental illness can change relationships and having compassion is not always easy.

- avah_watson

I really loved this book. It is told in the second person which was interesting, the short chapters more like vignettes were poetic and beautiful. I did not necessarily like the main character but I did understand her choices.

- tegan_ramos

Poetic language that allows you to feel the emotion, pain and anxiety of the characters. a Heartbreaking and memorable read

- harmoni_scott

The style and writing and subsequent translation is masterfully done. The strength of the simplicity and voice is haunting. I loved the story, the history and the poignantly beautiful prose.

- guillermo_castillo

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