The maternal earth | In the name of mother and daughter

The local novel is not dead. With his first novel, The maternal landAnne-Marie Turcotte wants to give the female voice its place in the history of those who shaped Quebec.

There have been Father’s land (Patrice Lacombe), a local novel that many students have had the good fortune (or misfortune, it depends) of having to study. Here is The maternal landa novel which aims to set the record straight on the place occupied by women, particularly in the colonization of remote regions of Quebec, here Témiscouata, where our heroine, Anne, lives.

Her corner of the hinterland, the young woman, whom we meet while she is finishing high school, she has it under her skin; the waters of the Madawaska River flow through its veins. Its French language too, and its regionalisms, which it ardently defends against the English-speaking invader. It carries within it the stories, tales and colorful characters which populate the imagination of its inhabitants and have built, as much as the colonists of the time, the relationship with the territory.

There are some good flashes in this novel, particularly in the family stories and oral legends that the narrator passes on to us. While recounting her daily life in the village, Anne likes to launch into great flights of fancy about the state of our language, her attachment to her territory and her ancestors. But, in the end, this somewhat candid character lacks substance and the narrative is quite thin.

Somewhere between an apprentice novel and a local novel, The maternal land does not spare us a few commonplaces and sometimes abuses metaphors, but we salute the desire to grant the terroir to the feminine, through the quest for identity of a young woman who does not want to lose her roots.

The maternal land

The maternal land


208 pages


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