French novel Fille de Fer set in Quebec – Isabelle Gregoire
Fille de Fer by Isabelle Gregoire
This book intrigued me for several reasons:
It’s set in remote Quebec and is about a female train driver who gets stuck en route. She drives the train for the mining industry and carries large loads on her own through remote land. One day she has an accident. Someone does come to her rescue but who is it and where has he come from? What does he want?
Boarding Pass Information : Fille de Fer
Destination : Northern Quebec
Author guide: Isabelle Gregoire
Genre: fiction (French)
Food and drink to accompany: Quebec’s speciality
A novel to transport you literally to Northern Quebec
This book! It opens on a train going through a snowstorm. The female driver drives a huge mining truck through the most remote landscape and it’s very atmospheric. The sense of foreboding is there from the off – I mean you just know something is going to happen.
As the train chunters along though the landscape, it was interesting to spend time with Marie. However, I wasn’t surprised to learn of all the abuse and comments she got about her job – her job in a very male world. She’s on her own – literally and figuratively and the cold white landscape illustrates this very well indeed.
She’s obviously been struggling with this job for some time but she is strong and resilient and determined to hold her own. I immediately liked her so when she had an accident, I worried. A man picks her up and takes her to his house. In the middle of nowhere. I thought of Misery and wanted to try and shout at Marie. That remote landscape and hearing my own thoughts merged with hers was very effective writing! What happens next is something to discover for yourself although I am very tempted to share!
What I will say is how powerful this novel is on other fronts. Whilst Marie and her fate is of course the point of the book, I found the environmental aspects of the novel and the way in which the mining industry is represented, very interesting indeed. This is a world I would never have known about, let alone experienced if not for books like this. Then there’s the very special theme of the lands of Native Peoples in Canada and how their land and lives are being turned over for what? Our will to use and abuse land and the power of mining?
There is so much to unravel in this book but I dare say no more. I was shocked and surprised by what I read and found that good things really do come in small packages. Compelling stories that make you think for one!
BookTrail Boarding Pass: Fille de Fer