Peter Greenaway meets Angela Carter: a Gothic tale of secrets and revenge
When the curtain rises on Malmaison, it reveals a once-enchanting estate, quietly falling into darkness and ruin, and at the heart of it, a father, one of a long line of fathers who have flourished at the expense of those around them. The silence seems peaceful, but lurking under it is a deep malevolence, scores of ugly and violent secrets kept by cast-off mistresses and abandoned daughters.
Ever-greedy, the father brings in Aliénor, a woman who promises to make the lands give even more of themselves; the plants will flourish, the animals will multiply, each feast will be more sumptuous than the last. The father thinks the stage is set to satisfy his every desire, but Aliénor will bring a new script, one in which the hunters are hunted and a new reign will begin.
“A tale that is both beautiful and cruel, like only fairy tales can be. One that is deep and rich in what is found within and between the lines, like only fairy tales can be. […] This is already quite an achievement, and then Marie Hélène Poitras adds […] a sensuality that stretches out in every direction. […] A novel that is beautiful in content and form, to be read and discussed.” – Sonia Sarfati, Sélection Reader’s Digest
“Marie Hélène writes both the marvelous and the contemptable, the magical and the horrific. She writes about the question of origins and the silence offered up as an answer.” – Natalia Wysocka, Le Devoir
“Marie Hélène Poitras offers readers yet another surprise by taking us where we least expected to go: into an enchanted, sinister forest like the woods of fairy tales… and the nursery rhymes that have left children quaking for centuries, without truly understanding their deep, dark meaning.” – Chantal Guy, La Presse
“Poitras (Griffintown) delivers a gloomy and lyrical fairy tale set in and around Noirax, a fictional French village…This is a feast for lovers of gothic lit." – Publishers Weekly
"Fans of dark, fairy-talelike worlds will enjoy Sing, Nightingale tremendously." – Leah von Essen, Booklist