Bonheur d'occasion or The Tin Flute (1945), novel by Gabrielle Roy. Set in the Montréal slum of St-Henri during WWII, it is French Canadian literature's first example of urban realism. The inhabitants greet the war as a source of salvation, rescuing them from unemployment.
Florentine Lacasse, a dime-store waitress, is seduced by Jean Lévesque, a successful but selfish engineer; pregnant, she marries Emmanuel Létourneau, an innocently idealistic soldier. Her mother, Rose-Anna, is a modern mater dolorosa, giving birth to yet another child only to lose her husband to the war. Florentine's young brother, Daniel, dying of leukemia in a hospital, experiences material comfort for the first time, helplessly surrounded by new toys. Their dreams about to be shattered, all are presented with sympathy and insight.
Roy's talent for describing the sights, smells and sounds of St-Henri is complemented by her skills as an ironist. The novel won the Governor General's and other awards, and has been translated twice as The Tin Flute, by Hannah Josephson (1947) and Alan Brown (1981).