“In Tregebov’s novel, Rue des Rosiers is the site of a terrorist attack that took place at Goldenberg’s Deli in 1982, which left six dead, many injured, and presented a template to be copied by the perpetrators of more recent massacres of Jews or political targets, such as the cartoonists of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Rue des Rosiers opens before the 1982 attack, and, in shadowy ways, its readers can guess from the beginning that a disaster looms over the novel’s main characters. But Tregebov does an impressive job of moving backwards in time to place her main character, a young Torontonian called Sarah, at unknowing remove from events that lurk, unseen in her future.
Toronto readers in particular will appreciate Tregebov’s rendering of the city in its early 80s guise, from the point of view of women’s activist groups on Queen Street, to the experience of spartan rented rooms on a down-at-the-heels Palmerston Boulevard.”
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