Thursday 19 November 2020

The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard @RBouchard72 BLOG TOUR (translated by David Warriner @givemeawave) @OrendaBooks #TheCoralBride


It's not just the sea that holds secrets...

When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the coast of Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula, DS Joaquin Morales begins a straightforward search for the boat's missing captain, Angel Roberts - a rare female in a male-dominated world. But Morales finds himself blocked at every turn - by his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of his own personal problems.

When Angel's body is finally discovered, it's clear something very sinister is afoot, and Morales and son are pulled into murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep.

Exquisitely written, with Bouchard's trademark lyrical prose, The Coral Bride evokes the power of the sea on the communities who depend on it, the never-ending struggle between the generations, and an extraordinary mystery at the heart of both.

The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard is published by Orenda Books - ebook 12 August and paperback 12 November 2020, and is translated from the French by David Warriner. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review for this Blog Tour.

I read and reviewed the first in this series; We Are The Salt Of The Sea a couple of years ago. That haunting, lyrical story with touches of real wit has stayed with me ever since. It's been a joy to re-visit Bouchard's characters, and her intoxicating landscape in The Coral Bride.

The reader is taken to the Gaspe peninsular, in Quebec, Canada and DS Joaquin Morales is in charge of the investigation into the disappearance of Angel Roberts.
Angel Roberts was a fisherwoman, and despite the advances in equality over recent years, it becomes clear that this female wasn't always welcomed or appreciated within this small, insular community.
Initial thoughts are that Angel has taken her own life. She was last seen, wearing her wedding dress as she returned from a night out with her husband. Angel had complained of feeling unwell. 

When Angel's body is discovered, Morales realises that there is far more to this case, yet the community have drawn together, and answers are very hard to find.

Running along the story of the investigation into Angel's death, Bouchard cleverly incorporates Morales' own personal story. His estranged son Sebastien has arrived and it is clear that he has many demons of his own to battle. He and his father have bridges to cross, there are delicate relationships to unravel and try to rebuild. Bouchard's perceptive and often emotionally charged depiction of this father/son relationship is elegantly handled and goes a long way to helping the reader understand Morales' character. 

Bouchard is an enchanting author, she writes with such clarity and precision and this is superbly translated by David Warriner. Whilst this is crime fiction at its best, it is also a exploration into both family and community relationships. There's an almost claustrophobic feel to the setting, as the local people close in, becoming silent and doing their best to cover up old fights and long held grudges. Protecting their own, at all costs.

Although the themes are dark, this author adds a sparkle of wit throughout her story which eases some of the tension of this dark celebration of small towns and distant families. 

Deft, stylish and engrossing. A joy to lose yourself in, with characters who are complex, yet believable and a setting that entrances. 

Over ten years ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to
sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gasp√© Peninsula. 
The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. 
Her fifth novel (first translated into English) We Were the Salt of the Sea was published in 2018 to resounding critical acclaim, soon to be followed by its sequel, The Coral Bride. 
She lives in Quebec.

Twitter @RBouchard72

David Warriner grew up in England and developed a passion for French at an early
age. After graduating from Oxford University he moved to Quebec and soon started his career in translation. David freelanced for a year with the company he created, Britboy Translations. Next, he was hired as an in-house translator for a prominent Quebec-based insurance company.
A few years later David was headhunted by another financial group to build a translation service in Quebec City and Montreal. Here he developed valuable skills in recruiting and managing a team of in-house translators and freelancers. David helped to bridge the language gap between the Quebec and Toronto offices by liaising with people at all levels of the company.
David worked in-house in the insurance and financial services field for eight years. He translated documents of a corporate, legal and contractual nature as well as marketing and communications texts. David and his team were also responsible for creating English product names and slogans.
Next, David moved to the West Coast with his family to coordinate the French translation needs of a government ministry. A year later, he decided to launch his own business again, this time on the strength of a decade’s experience in the industry.
W Translation works with Canada’s official languages and primarily caters to your French-to-English translation needs. We can also edit and proofread your existing English documents.
Find out more at
Follow him on Twitter @givemeawave

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