The Torrents of Hope –Canada, 1837. During a skirmish with soldiers of the British Empire, Stéphane Talbot's father, an ardent Republican, is killed, leaving behind a distraught and penniless family – the family mill is ruined – and a son animated by a ferocious hatred towards the British and especially towards Henry Blake, the officer responsible for this destruction. So, Stéphane is not happy about the liaison between the Irish soldier Mervynn Parker and Catherine, his mother. Until the day Mervynn was sent to China with his regiment. Catherine is forced to work as a maid while Stéphane joins the steamships of the St. Lawrence. During a stopover in Montreal, he meets Gustave Hamelin, an engineer who has just been hired by Henry Blake, Stéphane's sworn enemy: he controls The Montreal Gas and Light. The two men come face to face… The Torrents of Hope is a superb historical saga, full of passion and exoticism, written by one of Quebec's best novelists, twice winner of the Governor General's Award, the local Pulitzer.
"Pierre Turgeon has a passion for the past. Because he comes from Quebec City. Fasten your seatbelts, because you are going to travel. From the banks of the Jacques-Cartier River, in the prologue, through Grosse-Ile, Montreal and Dublin, from there to Crimea in China, Sudan, Egypt, all in less than 400 pages. An epic and fascinating story. " – Anne-Marie Voisard, Le Soleil.
"It is above all to history enthusiasts that Pierre Turgeon addresses in The Torrents of Hope. What's surprising, when you consider the obvious interest he has had in narrative with a historical content since his early days as a writer? Already, with Sweet Poison, he was already drawing on family annals. After dwelling on certain key events of the twentieth century – the rise of fascism in Hitler's Boat, then the political situation in Quebec in the 1970s in Insurrection!, Turgeon took a great plunge into the past this time around, at the time of the Patriots' rebellion. With its hectic rhythm and characters set in a harsh but captivating reality, Turgeon's work is sure to enthrall those who like to let themselves be carried away by the images of a good story." – Claude Dessurault, See Québec.
Excerpt - The Jacques-Cartier River bewitched the summers of my childhood. It originates in the mountains north of Quebec, meanders through a valley cluttered with erratic boulders then joins the Saint-Laurent at Donnacona.
Some time ago, I felt the need to find the river and the country house that my family had left forever.
After an absence of forty years, nothing seemed to have changed in the rocky landscape, bristling with tall pines from another age. But the vague memories of a six-year-old did little to help me locate a lost paradise that I didn't even know if it still existed.
Many times, at the bend of the road or from the top of a hill, I thought I recognized the vast house where I had been so happy. I only had one landmark: the dam my grandfather had built, and which was a five-minute walk from his property. I was certain that beneath this formidable concrete wall would still huddle the power station that once electrified Quebec City.
After hours of wandering, I finally came across a California-style villa had replaced the old mansion with dark shingles and narrow windows.
No one answered my calls. I ran down the lawn to the river. Having pulled up my jeans, I took off my espadrilles and walked into the cool water of the Jacques-Cartier. Through the murmur of the river, I thought I heard distant voices.