First novel for teens by Marianne Girard: questions about the female model

Marianne Girard's first novel for teens: questions about the female model


For her first novel, aimed at teenagers, journalist Marianne Girard, editor-in-chief of the popular teen magazine Cool!< strong>, questioned herself on major themes: intergenerational relations, models, ambition, desire, femininity and, inevitably, the relationship with men. Will 15-year-old Fiona find her grandma Iris Sharp, author of romance novels, a perfect role model? 

When Fiona's parents separate, her mother cries and Fiona finds refuge with her grandmother, Iris Sharp, who is a star author of romance novels. Fiona needs a role model and Iris, a free, unattached, successful woman, may be one. 

In this story, three women's destinies intersect . Three women, three generations, three quests for identity, three quests for femininity, three visions of romantic relationships. And finally, three women who seek to make the right choices, on the heart side.

Danielle Steel

Marianne Girard loved writing this beautiful story where important issues are discussed.

In an interview, she explains that the character of the grandmother was really the starting point of the novel. 

“It happened all of a sudden. I saw a story on Instagram: it was Danielle Steel typing on her typist. She had lots of gold jewelry and an old typist. I wondered what it would be like if we had a Danielle Steel in Quebec,” she says.

She wondered further: what happens when it's your own grandmother who is more or less a specialist in romance and love? 

“Can you have this role and automatically be someone who is good at relating to others? Or not? I imagined how you can experience that when it's your grandmother.”

Romance… and reality

Marianne Girard is of the opinion that on the one hand, there are romance novels and romantic comedies, and on the other, reality. Which is something completely different.

“The grandmother is extremely popular, an expert in love, but ultimately, we do not know her romantic past. She lives alone. It is not necessarily always good advice. And we also discover that she was not a very present mother.

“I liked the idea that, from the point of view of her granddaughter, she is someone great, an expert in the subject… but that in fact, he is someone like anyone else, with flaws and misunderstandings of many questions around love.”< /p>

According to her, the experiences and issues, regardless of the generations, are similar, in terms of friendship, the strength of the emotions and “the impression of being the only one in the world to live them then that you share so much with so many people.” 

“Reality is different because of social media. They (the teenagers) have just gone through a pandemic. They have a lot of sensitivity. There are subjects that were not addressed at the time and which today are. But a teenager is a teenager.”