A Good Life
This is Francois Gravel's greatest book to date. It is a charming novel about the rise of a French-Canadian Catholic family in Quebec. In the depression, the Fillion brothers scrape together a living for their mother by taking scrap wood from the docks and selling it door-to-door as firewood. From this humble start, they develop their business: building first highchairs and selling them, then building and suplying Adirondack chairs to a local furniture store. As a market develops for their work in the years after the Second World War, they open their own furniture store, expand it and, over the course of the next thirty years, become successful merchants. Louis, the middle brother, is the leader of the family. A Good Life is his story, as it is in many ways a parable of the rise of Quebec's Francophone middle class.
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