cover image The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

Heather O'Neill. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $26 (416p) ISBN 978-0-374-16266-5

O'Neill's follow up to international bestseller Lullabies for Little Criminals follows twins, Nouschka and Nicolas Tremblay, through their travails in ‘90s Quebec in an entertaining but hollow story. The story is told through Nouschka's relentlessly energetic voice and begins by outlining their childhood: their father is Quebecois folk legend Étienne Tremblay and mostly absent, and their mother left them as infants. As kids, Etienne used the twins for promotional stunts, making them minor local stars. Now, 19-years-old and dropped out of high school, Nicolas and Nouschka are adrift; partying and sleeping around. Nouschka enrolls in night school and falls in love as Nicolas attempts to forge a relationship with their mother without success. Nouschka laments that their mother "had loved us on television. The same way that everybody had loved us, which was the same thing as not loving us at all." Their father reappears with an eager documentarian who hopes to film the Tremblay family, and things begin to unravel. The ride through the twins' coming-of-age is largely enjoyable, though also forgettable. (June)