Customer Reviews for

Last Night in Montreal

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted April 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent debut

    Eli doesn't realize that when Lilia leaves his Brooklyn apartment to go get the paper, she has left for good. Not until several hours later when he looks up from his graduate thesis and realizes she has disappeared. Something Lilia has been doing since she was seven years old.

    Lilia had not seen her father for years until one night, when she is seven, he tosses ice at her window and her home in Montreal. She immediately goes outside into his arms and they leave forever. They never stay anywhere longer than a couple of days, traveling around the US. Lilia writes in each bedside motel bible, unknown to her father variations of this: "I am not missing. Stop searching for me. I wish to remain vanishing. I don't want to go home."
    Christopher Graydon is the private detective who becomes obsessed with finding her while neglecting his own daughter, Michaela.

    Lilia ends up in Montreal after leaving Eli and meets up with Michaela who then sends Eli a postcard to come get her. But she refuses to tell Eli where she is until her own agenda is met.

    my review: I LOVED this book. I thought it was meaningful and compelling. Lilia is a mysterious, tragic figure as is Michaela. Eli is caught up by both of their stories and this makes for a brilliant debut novel.

    I also found the discussion of Eli's thesis on endangered languages to be very interesting, enough so that I am looking for a book to read more about this. I also found the language laws of Quebec to be fascinating as I was unaware of this. I also love reading books that lead me to other books or interests.

    But Lilia's story is the driving force that kept me hooked: why did she leave with her father, why did he come get her, why even as an adult can Lilia not stop vanishing?

    This is another fairly short novel that tells an amazing story in less than 300 pages. Run out and buy this book, I highly recommend it!

    my rating 5/5

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of my favorite books this year...

    As this book opens, Lilia has just disappeared from Eli's life. Without a hint, she has walked out of their life together and moved on. He knows she has left for good because that is her life strategy. Lilia was kidnapped by her father when she was seven, and spent her childhood traveling all over the United States with him, one step ahead of law enforcement. These years of traveling have made her unable to stay anywhere or with anyone for long.

    Eli is crushed, but a few weeks later, he gets a mysterious postcard from someone named Michaela who tells him that Lilia is now in Montreal. Eli immediately drops everything and goes to Montreal to attempt to find out who Michaela is, and where Lilia is now. It turns out that Michaela is the daughter of the detective who worked on the case of Lilia's kidnapping. He became obsessed and ended up deserting his own daughter and family while attempting to find Lilia.

    It is difficult for me to believe that Last Night In Montreal is Emily St. John Mandel's debut novel. It is a stunning book, easily one of the best I've read lately. The themes of traveling and inability to commit to a relationship, the lure of just stepping out of one life and starting another, and family secrets and obsessions are written about in a compelling fashion. I highly recommend this book to all readers, and I'm thrilled to have discovered it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful Story of Love and Leaving and Obsession

    Lilia Albert has been running away from people and places her entire life. It is a compulsion that has never had any consequences, at least until her latest boyfriend Eli takes to the road and follows her. Adding to the mix are other elements surrounding her long ago kid-napping - the private detective and his daughter, both whom have their own personal obsessions with the case. With alternating chapters between Eli's present and Lilia's past, the reader finds themselves hurtling through snippets in time towards an inevitable tragic ending. Mandel writes with refreshing sadness, the mystery and grief in her heart-wrenching story pulls you in and shows you everything in slow motion. And as you continue reading and learning what Lilia is running from and where she is running to, you will find yourself powerless to stop it. LAST NIGHT IN MONTREAL is so full of emotion and history, it is amazing this book doesn't burst at the seams.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2011

    Great read

    Great story,really drew me in. Check it out!

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    Posted August 23, 2011

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    Posted February 7, 2011

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    Posted January 11, 2011

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    Posted September 4, 2010

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