In these times of pandemic, many will recognize themselves in this “sandwich Generation” which Hélène Koscielniak has decided to give it a title and a subject of a novel !
The book has nothing to do with the difficult times we are going through, but the dynamics presented in the “sandwich Generation” applies to any situation where, as now, he is supporting his own – sometimes many !
The fact is that many people, between roughly 45 and 65 years, trying to reconcile employment, care giving to their parents, and support to ensure their children or even their grandchildren.
Hélène Koscielniak, which has number of books and literary awards to his credit, brings everything to a character : Lianne Ménard, worker, daughter, wife, sister, mother, mother-in-law and grand-mother busy !
At 58 years of age, it is particularly to the needs of his father, more confused but determined not to leave her house, her two children and the couples failing, and his granddaughter who wants to become a boy.
It is a lot for a single woman, almost too much for a single novel – but the author will use correctly these elements to nourish the journey of Lianne.
There’s a plot too many in this book : a young woman adopted in search of her biological father, and who seems to have a link with the family Ménard. It is a bouncing secondary that adds little to the armature of a book dedicated to the life pressurized to a woman who feels obliged to help everyone.
If the novel makes the rounds of the various members of the family Menard, it is the most strong when he does see a parallel between the way in which Lianne’s view of its responsibilities and the way in which his father Dominique receives the help that she needed. The mutual incomprehension and exasperation total of the father are perfectly rendered !
It will be interesting to see how Lianne will realize that it is too much and how, despite everything, it will be difficult to restrain his impulses. His relations with his brothers are affected, as are those with her spouse, yet with the patience of an angel. The author is dead on in describing unvarnished these situations.
Other development carried out : the shake family question the decision of Lily, 16 years, to become a boy. Now you will need to call Liam.
Lianne loves too much his only grandchild to reject such a choice and respects it too much to just say ” it will pass “. But to really understand… His doubts are clearly exposed and the frank dialogue it has with Liam brings interesting reflections on the subject, far from the clichés or the acceptance smug. So this is a novel that one reads not for large flights of literary or for its plot exciting, but as a slice of life in which, in view of our ageing populations, it is easy to identify familiar situations. And the no recoil as it is done well : the sandwich can also be held less tightly !