Actress and writer Marie-Chantal Perron addresses the delicate topic of invisible ties that bind stepmother family members in her first adult novel. Mary’s twelve months. Full of emotions and questions, she tells the story of a young woman trying to find what her mother-in-law was for a while. A woman he adored and with whom he severed ties when he left his father.
Prunelle, 25, finds a copy of a book written by Marie, a woman who left her father as a child, in a bookstore. This book recounts the 12 months of reflection it took Mary to get away, leaving behind this little Prunelle with whom she was very attached.
Through the touching story of Marie and Prunelle, Marie-Chantal Perron evokes difficult situations where family ties are broken, in the context of mixed families. Choosing to leave someone, in some adult relationships, also means separation from a child.
In an interview, Marie-Chantal Perron talks with a lot of emotion about these invisible connections that are created and sometimes dismantled within mixed families, about these unrecognized troubles.
“When I talk about myself, with other people who have been mothers-in-law or mothers, I start a lot of conversations,” she comments.
“It’s an invisible bond, an unfamiliar bond that can be very confrontational for some mothers, which can be destabilizing for mothers-in-law who did not expect to have children in their lives or care for children and who, as in book, be connected to them. »
His story will touch many people. “I kept something inside me that was also inside other people. I find it wonderful. It resonates with people and is a matter of society that we will make of ourselves more and more. »
The person leaving
At first, Marie-Chantal wanted to talk about the person leaving.
“We often talk about people who are left behind, but we rarely talk about those who leave. Often, those who leave do not want to leave a relationship, so they do not have the capital of sympathy from those around them. »
The more he wrote on the subject, the more he discovered that regardless of who leaves, or who is left behind, both have to deal with grief.
“What would it be like to mourn a woman who leaves?” What is the grief of a woman leaving a mixed family? Here is the idea of a mother-in-law having to leave a romantic relationship where she is not happy but finds herself in conflict with herself because she knows she will lose the relationship with this little girl who is not his. Since the connection in the novel is complex, she knows very well that there is no law that will be able to protect them and maintain their connection to both. »
A work of fiction
Marie-Chantal wanted to write a novel, not a story.
“I had the taste to imagine that Prunelle, the eldest, would have a return to her life, becoming a very young stepmother. I have a girlfriend who found herself, at age 26, the stepmother of two teenagers. Her boyfriend was 10-15 years older than her. »
She found it interesting to turn to fiction.
“It allowed me to write something brighter, too. And I wish the connection, despite its invisibility, remains present within someone. I want to believe in emotional connections, even if things sometimes fail. »
- Marie-Chantal Perron was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards in 2020 in the Children’s Literature category.
- Since graduating from the National Theater School of Canada in 1989, she has starred in more than 25 plays, more than a dozen films, and held close to 30 roles on television.
- She has also received numerous awards for acting.
- His book Radio Theater will be broadcast on Ohdio (Radio Canada), starring Alice Dorval, Bianca Gervais, France Castel, Didier Lucien, Patrice Godin, Francis Ducharme and Marie-Chantal Perron. Directed by: Francis Legault.
- The novel will be read by Michel Poirier this summer as part of the Arts d’été.
“ But love is stronger than the police. Prunelle my beautiful bride but the other daughter with your coming to life crowns my mother-in-law without being beautiful or nobody’s mother.
This role fabricated from scratch, vague, ungrateful, interchangeable, without rights, outside the law, is abundant in our divorce society. In this sentimental lottery, the reciprocity of love with the child and everyone around him turns out to be as dangerous as a dice roll. An extractable parent figure, available when no longer fits, or no longer fits, with the mixed canvas abstract canvas. Who would want to be part of a line without an ancestor or a descendant? I, among others. »