A Scent of Avalanche

Original title: Une odeur d’avalanche

Publication Date:

September 2021



Original language and publisher

French | Editions Alto

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction

A Scent of Avalanche

Original title: Une odeur d’avalanche


A poetic, delicate and apt portrayal of the St. Sauveur borough, celebrating the resilience of its inhabitants. — Le Soleil

A novel filled with warmth […], a feel-good magic trick full of humanity. La Presse

St. Sauveur, a neighborhood in the lower part of Quebec City, has seen its share of disasters: earthquakes, floods, frogs raining from the sky. Known for its fervor, camaraderie, and solidarity, this working-class enclave was once even visited by the Virgin Mary herself.

It’s here that Jacob and Pénélope meet. Fifty years later, a cowboy arrives back in town and, at a local bar, encounters a lady in a green velvet dress. As their story unfolds, links emerge between them and the two teenagers, revealing the miracle of second chances.

Reminiscent of Michel Tremblay’s beloved novels set on the Plateau in Montreal, Une odeur d’avalanche/A Scent of Avalanche depicts the dizzying highs and agonizing lows of a tight-knit community, while fully embracing the magic realism made famous by Latin American literature.