A novel

Author: Colleen René

Eva’s dad is dead. Her mother isn’t, but ought to be, at least according to Aunt Mathilde. Time to move on . . .

Bound by blood and loss, three women struggle to rebuild relationships fractured by a decade-old tragedy. 

When her aunt insists on a move from Nova Scotia to Montreal, eighteen-year-old Eva tries not to care. After all, she’s already dropped out of school and is washing dishes for a living. But she can’t speak French, the mother tongue of her Acadian family, and doesn’t fit into the local neo-grunge scene of student manifestos and drug-fueled parties.

Maddie has provided reluctant care for her niece for more than a decade, despite the loathing she feels for Eva’s mother. Mathilde spends her evenings drinking and writing love letters to a long-gone man, dreaming of what might have been. 

An old photograph of a happy seven-year-old with dimples is taped to the wall above Gaby’s bunk in the Nova Institution for Women. With her parole hearing weeks away, Gaby doesn’t have any plans or hopes for a future outside of prison beyond one: to find her daughter.

Three women, trapped by the spectre of Adam, Eva’s charming, dead father.


  • Fiction, 272pp
  • ISBN 978-1-990160-22-6 (paperback)
  • ISBN 978-1-990160-23-3 (e-book)
  • 5.5″ x 8.5″
  • Published August 2023
  • Paperback: CA $22.95 / US $18.95
  • Ebook: CA $15.95 / US $13.95

. . . a beautifully written family drama and compelling mystery that takes us from rural Acadian Nova Scotia to the arts and university districts of Montreal. A captivating debut that adeptly excavates the murky connection between sisters and the messiness of the human heart.

The Miramichi Reader

Eighteen-year-old Eva has been living with her Aunt Mathilde since she was six years old, since her mother was sent to prison. Mathilde makes no secret of the fact that she believes Eva’s mother is a bad person, which is a cause of distress and confusion for Eva who has good memories of Gaby and still longs for her after all these years . . . The tension in the narrative is high. The reader wonders who to trust. Gradually, over the course of the book, we learn the truth about what happened all those years ago. Between the narrative structure, the compelling story, and the vivid settings, I couldn’t put this book down.

Consumed by Ink