The Reawakening

Original title: Trois réveils

Publication Date:

February 2020



Original language and publisher

French | Editions XYZ

Territories Handled

English (World excl Canada), France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction

The Reawakening

Original title: Trois réveils


“Catherine Perrin celebrates the profoundly sensual dimension of good music, those rare and exhilarating moments when a work becomes one with the bodies of those who give it life.”—Le Devoir

“A story filled with humanity and sensitivity, which mixes social issues and art, and where music serves as a pillar of survival.”—La Presse

“Fortunately, music softens the mood. And envelops with its comfort the characters imagined by Catherine Perrin. (…) Like a soundtrack, the novel is sprinkled with pieces of music and there is even a list of the pieces quoted at the end. »—La Presse

“I finished this book with an overwhelming desire to listen to classical music. Throughout my reading, I was lulled by Antoine and his deep love for it. I felt like I could share his passion with him. I was touched by his hard journey and his dreams shattered by his mental illness.”—My Reading World

“Can we save the world with music? If the host broadcaster, musician and now writer Catherine Perrin does not believe it, Antoine, a bipolar musician and the protagonist of her novel, is obsessed with it. If he can’t accomplish this impossible mission, he will find a meaning to life in this art.”—Le Métro

“The author has succeeded in describing the manic phases of the main character with great realism and delicacy.”—Julie Niquette, literary columnist

“It is obvious that the author has used her enormous talent as a musician to weave this story well. The musical references are not only omnipresent, but precise. You don’t have to be a classical music lover to appreciate it, the enthusiasm of the characters is contagious enough to make you want to listen to Bach and Tchaikovsky. Moreover, Perrin’s words flow like notes on a score. Everything is harmonious and impeccably constructed. (…) a tender tale about hard subjects. Catherine Perrin has succeeded, thanks to her words and her musical passion, in sharing with us a story of painful beauty, but which acts as a balm at the same time.”—Page par page

It’s just fun! – René Homier-Roy, Culture Club

Every once in a while, someone lingers a bit as he plays in the metro. In those moments, Antoine can tell the music has touched a life; he is playing for this particular listener, even while others stream past. The music changes and beyond the mechanics, there is an almost animal desire to do good.

A novel whose singular score follows the emotional rollercoaster of a young man pulled by invisible threads, a bipolar protagonist whose moods, described with rare art and science, are skilfully rendered through the music he listens to.

Antoine is studying at the Conservatoire de musique when, shortly after he discovers the oboe, he has his first manic episode that leads to psychosis. He is medicated and the crisis is averted — until a relapse brings on a survivalist obsession and growing isolation. Then comes the accident, the climax of his fall.

Once life has calmed down again, Antoine must find a reason to continue. He has to rekindle an interest in life while agreeing to “sacrifice a flamboyant part of himself, to keep it under chemical control. In exchange, he asks only for peace.” And those around him must come to terms with the reality : his ever-worried sister; his best friend and opera virtuoso; his father, whom he must one day learn to forgive.

Marketing Information

  • Finalist for the Prix littéraire France-Québec 2021

Other books by this author