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Last Night in Montreal

When Lilia Albert was a child, her father appeared on the doorstep of her mother’s house and took her away. Now, haunted by an inability to remember much about her early childhood, Lilia moves restlessly from city to city, abandoning lovers and eluding the private detective who has dedicated a career to following close behind.

Then comes Eli. When Lilia goes out for a paper and fails to return to their Brooklyn apartment, he follows her to Montreal, not knowing whether he wants to disappear, too, or help her find her way home. But what he discovers is a deeper mystery, one that will set past and present spinning toward collision.

Listen to a sample from The Last Night in Montreal

Praise for Last Night in Montreal

Caroline Skelton,

Quill & Quire

“Mandel tells an utterly absorbing story, pulling readers down the rabbit hole and keeping them racing through its long, strange warrens. The writing is vibrant, and Lilia is a vivid and haunting character. ... Last Night in Montreal is an exciting debut: a thriller, a love story, and a quiet ballad about life's fleeting connections.”


“This taut, gripping debut novel explores the lives of four people who are forever changed when a father takes his seven-year-old daughter from his estranged ex-wife. ... The lost souls in this elegantly compelling novel are ciphers to themselves as much as they are to others, and they will stay in readers’ minds long after the final page is turned.”

Foreward magazine

“Mandel chooses her words with careful love and arranges them to exquisite effect. At its heart this book is a mystery, a few mysteries; we wait and we wonder while being charmed by Mandel’s intricate narrative dance which threads three different moving plot lines together into a perfectly tangled tapestry. Like a tightrope walker’s steps above a cobblestoned alley, her lines follow each other with near breathless precision and echo delicately long after the final page has been turned.”

Joseph Beth Booksellers

Michael Fraser,

“I realized that this novel is why I became a bookseller and why after almost 22 years I remain one…Mandel’s voice captivated me from the start and the way the story unfolds kept me reading it compulsively... I really loved this book…I think that Emily St. John Mandel will haunt me like Michael Chabon. Long after reading, the story, the characters will stay with me."

Vroman’s Bookstore

Pat Brown,

Last Night in Montreal is one of the best debut novels I've read in years. It's a novel with a secret at the heart of it, a dark center around which the whole story unfolds. Its structure, the way it braids time, moving forward and backward through four lives, is a marvel.”

This is my soul and the world unwinding, this is my heart in the still winter air. Finally whispering the same two words over and over: “Keep walking. Keep walking. Keep walking.”
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