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Birthday bash - day 3! Emily Mandel has a new book (87! Last Night in Montreal) and shares a post...

June 10, 2009
birthday bashIt's blog tour time for Emily St. John Mandel's Last Night in Montreal!!

About the book:
Lilia Albert has been leaving people behind for her entire life. She spends her childhood and adolescence traveling constantly and changing identities. In adulthood, she finds it impossible to stop. Haunted by an inability to remember her early childhood, she moves restlessly from city to city, abandoning lovers along with way, possibly still followed by a private detective who has pursued her for years. Then her latest lover follows her from New York to Montreal, determined to learn her secrets and make sure she’s safe. Last Night in Montreal is a story of love, amnesia, compulsive travel, the depths and the limits of family bonds, and the nature of obsession. In this extraordinary debut, Emily St. John Mandel casts a powerful spell that captures the reader in a gritty, youthful world—charged with an atmosphere of mystery, promise and foreboding—where small revelations continuously change our understanding of the truth and lead to desperate consequences. Mandel’s characters will resonate with you long after the final page is turned.

About the author:
Emily St. John Mandel was born on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, in 1979. She studied dance at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York. She lives in Brooklyn, and can be found online at her website,

drey's thoughts:
Where do I start? My initial impression was "hmm, ok..."--as I read the first chapter... By the end of the book, I was at "whoa," and not just for the ending. It was the entire journey--Lilia's story, her searching, her wandering, her disconnected-ness (Is that even a real word? I'm too lazy to Google it...) from the world around her. She's living in it, but not living in it. And it's not just about Lilia, but those caught in her orbit--Eli, who travels to Montreal to find her; Christopher, the private detective who's sent to find her when she's taken, only to lose himself too; Michaela, his daughter, trying to fathom why her father would leave her to track someone else's daughter; Simon, Lilia's brother, whose part in this play doesn't unwind until the end...

The characters are deceptively simply--you think you know them, what drives them... And then find out that you're just at the tip of the iceberg. And the thing is, you're kinda drawn in surreptitiously. By phrases like "I want to remain vanishing. I don't want to go home." And "Lilia was aware at times of a presence half glimpsed alongside her, evanescent, only indirectly apparent, like the stars you can see only when you look away." This is beautiful, spare, writing. You won't be able to put this engrossing debut novel down.

A little something from Emily:
Beach Reads and Cupdogs

If I'm on a beach, chances are I'm reading. I've never been a wholehearted fan of direct sunlight, largely because my ability to acquire a sunburn while wearing SPF 30 borders on the surreal. My beach afternoons are more often than not spent in the blissful shade of an umbrella, ideally with a book or three beside me.

There are very few books that don’t make good book reads, in my experience. There are a few, however, that strike me as being uniquely suited to being read on the beach, and one of these is Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar. The book has a hypnotic quality, well-suited to an auditory backdrop of ocean waves.

Hopscotch can be read in one of two ways: you can be old-fashioned about it and start with chapter one, and in your march from the front to the back of the book you’ll be swept into a brilliant narrative about the adventures of Horacio Oliveira, an Argentinean writer in Paris, who returns to Buenos Aires after his self-consciously intellectual life among the Parisian intelligentsia comes to an abrupt end with the death of an infant and the disappearance of his mistress.

Or alternatively, if you’re feeling a little sun struck and/or perhaps a little tired of reading books from front to back, you can start with chapter 73. The author provides detailed instructions: from chapter 73 you jump back to chapter one, then two, then 116, then three, etc. Reading it in this fashion yields a subtly different narrative and a far more delirious book, a swooping and ultimately breathtaking affair that pushes the outer edges of the form. There’s a strange joy in jumping between chapters; reading it this way feels a little bit like, well, hopscotch. But since this is, after all, a birthday post, we shouldn’t dwell too long on oddly-structured dark literary fiction: let’s move on to the cupdogs. This term may not be familiar to you. I was in fact only introduced to it myself very recently, by a five-year-old at a birthday party.

“They’re really called cupcakes,” he told me helpfully. “But I like calling them cupdogs.”

I saw his point. Once you start thinking of them as cupdogs, it’s almost impossible to go back. And so, without further ado, here is a recipe for Red Velvet Cupdogs, executed with great success by a friend of mine recently.

Happy Birthday, Drey.
Awww, thank you, Emily!

One gently-used ARC of Last Night in Montreal is up for grabs!

To enter, comment and share a favorite dessert... I don't think I've ever mentioned this here before, but I heart chocolate. The darker the better. And Lindt makes this bar that's dark chocolate with a hint of chili--yum!! =) +1 entry for followers, +2 for sharing this with everyone you know (and beyond!)... I will draw the winner after 6:00 pm on June 17th, & this can go wherever USPS will ship to. What're you waiting for? =)


bermudaonion said...

I'd love to be entered! I'm not much of a dessert person - my idea of dessert is fruit - but if I had to name one, I'd say pound cake. I know - boring! milou2ster(at)

Unknown said...

I'm not sure if I wished you a happy birthday yet but just in case I haven't: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Okay, now about the book. yours is a secong review I read today that had a lot of positive things about this book. I don't think that's a coincidence. it really must be a good book.
Sadly I don't really have a favorite dessert :(.
But my favorte food is angel hair pasta with alfredo sauce, grilled chicken and shrimps.

Pam said...

I love dessert. And I love chocolate. My favourite dessert is probably a beautiful, sinfully decadent chocolate turtle cheesecake with loads of oozing gooey caramel on an oreo crust with chocolate sauce and fresh whipped cream. Yummy.

melacan at hotmail dto com

Pam said...

And I follow you...

melacan at hotmail dot com

KR said...

My "new" favorite dessert is called "Too Much Chocolate" cake with a chocolate glaze on top. You can find the recipe @ I use semi-sweet chocolate chips but I'm sure you could use dark chocolate!

I follow.


Kaye said...

Strawberry torte with freah strawberries and whipped cream. Hmmm mmmm yummy! Chocolate is always good too, Drey!

I'm a follower


housemouse88 said...

By the way, Happy Birthday. I think I forgot to say it earlier. This book sounds fascinating. My favorite dessert is chocolate ice cream. I'm a follower. Have a great day.

tina werner said...

please enter me :)

my favourite dessert... anything lemon! yum!

i'm a follower
and i have you listed in my side bar on my blog


stampitchick at yahoo dot ca

ossmcalc said...

First of all, Happy Birthday!

My mother loved dark chocolate. She was a true chocoholic. My favorite dessert is a cream cheese braid that I used to make from scratch. It won several times at the County Fair.

I would love to read this book. Please enter me.

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...

I follow.

Thank you,


Anonymous said...

I buy this chocolate cheesecake from YIGS and it has caramel on top with big fat peices of brownies. Yum.

thebun at personainternet dot com

Anonymous said...

I am an email subscriber.

thebun at personainternet dot com

chey said...

My favourite dessert is chocolate cake.

chey127 at hotmail dot com

scottsgal said...

Sounds like a great book. Fave dessert is hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce drizzled on it yummmm

msboatgal at

scottsgal said...

already a subscriber

msboatgal at

Anonymous said...

My favorite dessert is Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream. Yes, it's expensive, bu it's worth every penny.

Geesh, you have awesome giveaways. Thanks!


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hey, doll! Happy Day Three of your birthday.

No need to enter me, although I'm really intrigued by this plot line.

I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, I forgot the dessert part...

I make these dark chocolate brownies... be nice and I'll send you some the next time I make them. I hoard the recipe. You'll see why.

Anonymous said...

My favorite dessert is blackberry pie with vanilla ice cream.

I follow your RSS feed.

The book sounds fascinating. It's already on my list. I would love to win it.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Eleni said...

My fave dessert is from this lil ice cream place in new york, its called ice cream pizza, it's pretty much shaped like a pizza, the bread part is a crepe, their vanilla ice cream, with toppings of different types of fruits such as banana, strawberry and kiwi and to top it off their is coconut shavings...yummy...shoot now I'm hungry lol
-I'm a follower! :)

Take Care,

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake is my favorite

mrsshukra said...

Carrot cake!!!!

Nicole said...

I love most any kind of sweets. My favorite is probably creme brulee. Yum!
I follow.

Kat Bryan said...

I love coffee ice cream but honestly, I'm not picky and like most desserts.

Kat Bryan said...

I'm a follower/subscriber.

Teddy Rose said...

Drey I love chocolate too! The darker, the better! I make a really simple vegan chocolate mousse. Even my non-vegan friends and family love it. One pak of firm silken tofu, 1 cup good quality chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Melt chocolate then blend in food processor until well blended. Either put it in serving cups or in a prepared pie shell and refridgerate until well set. About 6-8 hours.

I would love the book. I follow and I blogged about it here:

Valorie said...

My favorite is a simple dark chocolate cake with a little bit of raspberry syrup drizzled on it.

I follow

And I blogged:


Dawn M. said...

Up until now, I've read the reviews on this one and said, "Eh." Yours is the first review that's actually caught my interest and made me want to try it out. Winning a copy would be a great way to do that.

I have a lot of favorite desserts - pecan pie, homemade chocolate cake, german chocolate cake, snickerdoodle cookies, blackberry cobbler.... But my all-time favorite is Key Lime Pie. Yum! I just might have to have that for my birthday. :0)

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Suzanne said...

I would love to win this book, partly because my daughter's name is Lilia! I love chocolate, but also blueberry pie, pecan pie, carrot cake and cheesecake.

Gaby317 said...

Unfortunately, I love MANY types of desserts! I do love chocolate and coffee ice cream, and fruit salad probably most. I'm trying to convince myself that I love fresh fruit best nowadays!

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

+ I'm a follower

Unknown said...

Posted this link on my sidebar


Anonymous said...

Hi Mmm My favorite dessert has to be a chocolate cake with a mocha filling and a mocha icing. Yum.
Second best... fresh cut fruit.
polo-puppy-fluffy AT hotmail Dot com

Anita Yancey said...

My favorite dessert is chocolate cake with chocolate icing. But I love almost anything chocolate. Please enter me. Thanks!


mindy said...

hot pecan pie with vanilla ice cream thanks minsthins at optonline dot net

LittleEagle said...

I don't eat much dessert but given the chance I will always have a chocolate eclair.

jemscout425 said...

oohhhhh there's so many!!! but if i had to single one out it's blackberry pie.

budletsmom said...

I would love to be entered.

Lately I love a little dark chocolate - Trader Joes Organic with raisins and pecans - yummy


budletsmom said...

I am a follower.


rubynreba said...

I have a "to die for" brownie recipe that I love and it is my favorite dessert!

Lady Roxi said...

I would love to read this.
I love me some mint chocolate chip icecream



Linna said...

I love any kind of custard. I just can't resist its smooth texture.

L said...

My favorite dessert is any type of pie or a chocolate volcano cake.

I'm a follower.


Sarah Z said...

I love homemade vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries!
believedreamcourage (at)

Cindy said...

I love your blog and I love your interesting questions! It makes the giveaways more fun.

My favorite dessert is Chili's molten cakes - the chocolate one and the white chocolate one!

I too love chocolate and my house is never without it!

I am a follower of your blog. I would love to be included in this giveaway.


Cindy said...

I follow you on Twitter! My username is Soccermom213

You are on my list of Twitter Favorites. I tweeted about your blog and giveaways today.


wendy wallach said...

creme brulee is my favorite dessert.

madamerkf at aol dot com

Ladytink_534 said...

My favorite desert is anything but I'm also extremely fond of fudge and dulce de leche cheesecake.


Anonymous said...

I included this in a blog post.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Nickolay said...

It's hard to go wrong with a good Strawberry Short Cake


Mishia said...

Pb chocolate brownies!

minishoes1 said...

Sounds like a fantastic summer read! My fav dessert is all dessert! lol I love choc and peanutbutter! Any kind of cheesecake is my fav! Thanks!

minishoes1 said...

I follow.

Lisanne624 said...

My favorite dessert, is called, I believe rather descriptively, Cherry Yum Yum. It involves a graham cracker crust, a can of cherry pie filling, and whipped cream. What more could you ask for in a dessert? It's just perfect!

kathy55439 said...

I love anything with Chocolate I am not picky LOL

Hillary said...

My favorite is hot pecan pie!

Thanks for the contest!

Julie said...

I would love to be entered and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
I love dark chocolate as well...have you ever had hot chocolate with a hint of chilli? It's FABULOUS!


avisannschild said...

I love Emily's guest post! I'm also giving away an ARC of this book, if anyone's interested!

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