“Sweet mess” by Andrée-Anne Brunet: young mother at the heart of the COVID

«Doux brothel


Suite of paintings written in the “you” by radio host and writer Andrée-Anne Brunet, Doux brothelrecounts the experience of new parents in the midst of the pandemic. With humor, tenderness and a lot of emotion, the narrator shares in this third novel the ups and downs of her daily life as a new mother and life with her baby, while the whole world is going wrong.

In an interview, Abitibienne Andrée-Anne Brunet talks enthusiastically about this new “baby”… which arrived almost at the same time as a second baby since she became pregnant for the second time during the process. of writing. So she has a two-and-a-half-year-old son and a six-month-old baby.

She shares the vision of women of her generation, of motherhood in times of a pandemic, of the not very glorious reality of postpartum, and of adapting to a new reality.

Doux brothel has no connection with the two previous novels. The author explains, in an interview, that she became pregnant shortly before the pandemic broke out. 

“I experienced my first pregnancy and my debut as a mother in the midst of a pandemic. I had the reflex, to keep all this in mind, to take a lot of notes. I wrote a lot about how I felt, where we were at in the stage of baby development. It was so new, so grand as an adventure! »

When it came time to write a new novel, Andrée-Anne realized that all her ideas brought her back to this motherhood she was experiencing. 

« I I found it extremely fertile in ideas, in images, but I didn't want to tell the story of my own motherhood. »

Not autobiographical

How autobiographical is Sweetheart? “Of course there are thoughts that I had that I share. I romanticized it. Doux bordel is not the first year of life as a mother of Andrée-Anne Brunet. But when my boyfriend reads it, he finds me in there! But I exaggerated, I romanticized, pushed further. »

The novel starts from her emotions, her feelings, she adds. “Becoming a mother is a great adventure. Add to that a pandemic… and it's next level!

For childbirth, for example, it was already quite a deal. She herself and some of her friends lived the epic. “We lived full of worries, not only because giving birth is scary… but add to that the measures that changed from day to day in our hospitals. I was followed in the home
from birth. »

“There is a lot of what I felt, what I observed, what I shared with other mom friends too. It is the novel that is closest to me, my most intimate novel. »

Intimate and universal

Taking care of a living being is a gesture that is both intimate and universal, she adds. “We watched them, the videos. We read them, the books. But once it comes out of your womb, that child is a unique being who has specific needs. Even if you saw a breastfeeding video, the first time you put a baby to your breast… Good if it worked well for some women. Me, personally, it was chaos. It was very difficult. »

Giving birth is a blind date, she compares. “You can imagine yourself, you make scenarios in your head… when it comes out of your belly, it's someone you don't know, who doesn't know you either and you have to tame yourself , you two. Threesome with dad. »

“The mother's body is building, I had underestimated that. My body is being repaired. My head is dealing with impossible hormone surges. And in there, you're trying to stay sane and you're in the middle of a pandemic. It was a sweet mess. »

  • Andrée-Anne Brunet has been a radio host since 2012.
  • She also wrote Ne pas touche s' please and Embrace the chaos.
  • She will be present at book fairs and will be back on radio at the end of the month of June.


We haven't left the house since that we entered it, almost a month ago. We live on the food prepared by our friends and we have fruits and vegetables delivered online. The heavy snow that has been falling for a few days confirms our idea of ​​locking ourselves in to better tame the three of us. Nothing exists except the five rooms of our apartment and the fragility of your brand new body. »