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The Violets of Usambara

Bujumbura, Burundi, is one of the last places you would expect to find Thomas Brossard. Once a powerful cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney’s Conservative government, Thomas never had a particular interest in Africa and the concerns it represented. That was his wife Louise’s domain. But after an embarrassing election loss, Thomas will do just about anything to regain political power and improve his estimation in the eyes of Louise, who finds a Catholic charity in need of a political figure to investigate their projects in Africa. When Thomas disappears in war-stricken Burundi on his fact-finding mission, Louise becomes trapped inside their house in Montreal by her own fears. She is left to fret about her continually blurring past, piecing together how she has reached this sudden point of loneliness and isolation. In a story spanning decades, the past peeks through the seams and enriches the novel with a deep history of Quebec’s wealthy and political classes.

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