A thousand secrets spring from the darkness

A thousand secrets spring from the darkness


In the third installment of the hit seriesRitz Lights, Sparks of Hope, the novelist Marylène Pion reveals the fate of the characters evolving in the sumptuous decor of the legendary hotel, rue Sherbrooke.

Set during the First World War, the novel shows daily life in the Montreal society, which was not immune to torment. 

The third part of this beautiful series begins in Montreal in February 1916, in the heart of the First World War (1914-1918). High society gathers at the Ritz-Carlton to attend a highly anticipated event: the very first long-distance call between Montreal and Vancouver. As war ravages Europe, lights shine at the hotel…and secrets are revealed.

Pregnant New Yorker Ida Sloane avoids setting foot there. She doesn't want to run into Julien, who has just been promoted to the position of valet, any more than necessary. She dreads the birth of her child, but can count on the support of her friends, Candice and Violette.

Adéline, for her part, is moping because the news of the soldiers who have gone to the front arrives in dribs and drabs. Her lover is deployed in Europe and like many, she is experiencing an emotional roller coaster.

Adventure and patriotism

Marylène Pion has received good reading feedback of his fans for this series. “These years are fascinating for readers,” she notes. As a writer, she really enjoyed writing about this period. “Even if it was 100 years ago, you can make correlations to life today.”

In this third part, the novelist wanted to show what had happened in Canada, how people reacted to the First World War. “I wanted to show what was happening in Montreal. In the third volume, I also come full circle with the stories of all my characters. ”

While doing her documentation work, she noticed that Montreal society, both the working class and the high society , had been marked by hostilities. 

“From what I saw in my research, there are a lot of French Canadians who went there for the adventure, and because it gave them a good paycheck. It was steady work. They didn't see it was a war… I tried to reflect that on some characters. English Canadians were more patriotic.”

She points out that the war brought about an advance in technology. “The link is strong with what we are experiencing today. Technologies advance faster in times when we are in crisis or at war. The long distance moved quickly: I stumbled upon the fact that the first call was at the Ritz – I absolutely wanted to include it in my novel. “>Marylène Pion has published several acclaimed series: The Nurses of Notre-Dame, The Department Store and Rumeurs d'un village.

  • She is working on her next book, which will be set during World War II.
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