Snapshots: My Charmed Life is a collection of the earliest memories of Nicole de Rochemont of her family life as a child in Québec up until the early days of her marriage to filmmaker Louis de Rochemont III, who directed Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich. From her tales of growing up as an impulsive youngster to her stories of daily life as a boarder at Le Grand Couvent, and later fighting a life-threatening illness, her life has been a roller-coaster ride of laughter and tears. Through these experiences she grew into a talented, creative, and remarkably resilient young woman.
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By Sharen McDonald
Apr 23, 2013
A review from an appreciative fan of the storyteller - Nicole de Rochemont. She relates her escapades as an irrepressibly mischievous little girl - at home and as one of the youngest boarders at Le Grand Couvent after her mother contracts polio - with such glee that one cannot help but be charmed. Her description of life in Montreal during the 1940s and 50s ignites all kinds of memories and nostalgia for that special post-war era. She shows heartwarming and inspiring honesty in telling the story of the life-threatening illness that befell her and her father's tenacity in finding a cure for his beloved daughter. Last, but certainly not least, is the story of her unusual encounter with filmmaker Louis de Rochemont III at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Even their engagement had its ups and downs, as Aunt Sally of the famed de Rochemont dynasty, whose Huguenot roots beget a hatred of Catholicism, booms in English at Louis's bride, Nicole, the petite francaise from Quebec,... More > "You have set us back more than 300 years...Get out of my sight and stay out of it!" Heart-stopping. Still she rises to the challenge - and by the end of Snapshots, she has won over even Aunt Sally with her winsomeness. It's a great read - and we hear that she is now working on Vignettes: My Charmed Life, which promises even more adventures!< Less
To the author, Nicole de Rochemont: You have captured so many aspects of the fascinating character of Quebec. Your skill at using the two founding languages, lightly intertwining them is splendid. I arrived in Montreal from England in 1956. That was your growing-up period! So, all those incidents and interactions you describe were enormously nostalgic for me and brought back many memories. The stores such as Eatons and Birks, events such as the "Rocket Richard Riot", the personalities, the religious differences and, especially your childhood experiences as a boarder at a Catholic convent, were both informative and humorous. Your book will appeal to many who wish to learn more about Quebec life and society. Your journey was always spirited, interesting and, often, funny. We live in a world lacking humour and are always hungry for reminders of the past, so I thank you for your contribution. D.S Barnes
I have read "Snapshots" with great pleasure. The title is just right - she did lead a charmed life! It's not that disaster never struck. It did, but strengthened by the warmth and love of her family, she was never overcome by it. When the author looks back on these difficult times, there's not a trace of unhappiness or bitterness, which makes for very pleasant reading. The word 'charm' keeps coming to mind. The photos on the front and back covers attest to her charm, and the one on the first page conjures up the feminine charm and elegance of an earlier era. The photos throughout the book add a great deal to the story and I spent a lot of time studying them. I found her father, Gérard, very memorable - warm, loving, and wise. It's a good thing Nicole met Louis de Rochement III, because after such a father, I don't think any other husband would have done. I look forward to reading about the "second life" which Louis led her into!
I enjoyed "Snapshots" thoroughly. A personal story, interesting, funny, and written well, easily keeping my attention to the last page ! I hope she has a sequel coming, I would love to read the continuing memoirs.
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