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Miléna Santoro's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Miléna Santoro recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Miléna Santoro's favorite book recommendations of all time.



Memoria tells the seemingly ordinary story of a woman overwhelmed by grief when her lover abandons her. The loss opens an old wound: some 20 years ago Emma’s teenage sister vanished without a trace. Soon Emma will meet another man, but the return to joy is painfully slow. Rarely has the loss of love, as well as the subtle dislocation of a family hit by tragedy, been evoked more poignantly than in this luminous novel. In Memoria’s multi-layered narrative, the reader is irresistibly drawn into the slow reconstruction of Emma’s outer and inner world, a world of dizzying sensuality,... more
Recommended by Miléna Santoro, and 1 others.

Miléna SantoroWhen I read it, it blew me away. It just describes a woman’s experience of being abandoned and trying to rebuild her life after that abandonment, in the most sensitive, kind and yet starkly painful terms. (Source)

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The Enigma of the Return

Recommended by Miléna Santoro, and 1 others.

Miléna SantoroIn this novel, Laferrière is a writer in full possession of his talent. He is a virtuoso in the way he weaves together his own personal story of exile from Haiti with the whole political aspect of the successive Duvalier regimes, which caused the Haitian diaspora to come into existence beginning in the 70s and 80s. (Source)

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Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

Beautifully captures the joys of a new family as it builds to an overwhelmingly moving climax. This is an unforgettable love story, at once heartbreaking and full of hope.

James Patterson has written a love story!--a powerfully moving and suspenseful novel about families, loss, new love, and hope.

Katie Wilkinson has found her perfect man at last. He's a writer, a house painter, an original thinker--everything she's imagined she wanted in a partner. But one day, without explanation, he disappears from her life, leaving behind only a diary for her to read.
Recommended by Miléna Santoro, and 1 others.

Miléna SantoroIt’s really fascinating that born out of this very autobiographical story of abandonment and the suffering that that caused and then the desire to reconnect with one’s roots, we have this exceptional novel that fills in the gaps of a story that can never be fully told or fully understood—and that really does encompass the history of Quebec, and its place in North America more broadly. (Source)

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The Orange Grove

A Novel

Twin brothers Amed and Aziz live in the peaceful shade of their family’s orange grove. But when a bomb kills the boys’ grandparents, the war that plagues their country changes their lives forever. Blood must repay blood, and, in order to avenge their grandparents’ deaths, one brother must offer the ultimate sacrifice. Years later, the surviving twin – now a student actor in a wintry Montreal – is given a role which forces him to confront the past. Tremblay, an actor and director himself, poses the difficult question: can art ever adequately address suffering? Both current and timeless,... more
Recommended by Miléna Santoro, and 1 others.

Miléna SantoroThis is a novel which is an extraordinarily limpid fable, almost, of twin brothers who are caught up in war, and who, in a tragically Greek or Shakespearean manner, end up substituting one for the other: one must die and one survives. (Source)

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A triumph of poetic beauty and a moving meditation on how love and food are inextricably entwined, Mãn is a seductive and luminous work of literature from Kim Thúy, whose first book, Ru, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, received a Governor General's Literary Award and won the nationwide book competition Canada Reads.

     Mãn has three mothers: the one who gives birth to her in wartime, the nun who plucks her from a vegetable garden, and her beloved Maman, who becomes a spy to survive. Seeking security for her grown daughter, Maman finds...
Recommended by Miléna Santoro, and 1 others.

Miléna SantoroKim Thúy is not the first Vietnamese francophone writer in Canada, but she is certainly is the most well-known, the one who’s had the most meteoric rise to fame. Mãn is her second novel. It’s really a beautiful story about a woman who has three mothers, only one of whom is her biological mother. (Source)

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