Sense of Shame
This is the title of my latest book. It is fiction, based on fact. During the late 60s and early 70’s, people died in Montreal, Canada over the belief that because of the religious and linguistic differences in Quebec, the province should separate from Canada. As was proven later during a referendum, the majority were against it. But for years there were bombings, killings, kidnapping and terror, especially in Montreal.
I lived there during this period of terror, and use the events as the background for my book.
When the Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau heard of the bombings, he said “I can’t help feeling, today, a deep sense of shame.”
My story is about a separatist girl, originally from Newfoundland and a Jewish Montreal Professor. They meet some time after the events but fall in love. After a while, Paul, the professor at McGill University, discovers that Esme was not only in love with one of the FLQ (front Liberation Quebec) revolutionaries, but she was involved with him and sympathetic.
The fact hits home to Paul when he remembers that the home across from his parent’s was blown up while he and his parents were having a dinner party just across the street. Her young revolutionary friend of Esme was directly involved in the bombing near Paul’s home..
Now, years later, they begin discussing their reactions and realise that there are many reasons to keep them apart, like religion, ideology and political views. They drift apart.
Can this rift be overcome? Can they come back together or were the events of those days too much to reconcile them?
I have had many discussions with people about my book, even if it is printed in a limited edition. It pleases me to point out what happened and pass the information on.
Things are relatively quiet in Quebec today, but there are still undertones of ‘Separatism’ in Quebec. For the first time, Quebec has a woman Prime minister. Keeping separation off the agenda is problematic.
It is, for sure, ‘a deep sense of shame’…
Story by Arnie Greenberg: email@example.com