Jeanne lives in the woods with her grandfather until he dies. Then she is sent to an orphanage run by nuns. Jeanne is a spirited, fiesty girl who does...moreJeanne lives in the woods with her grandfather until he dies. Then she is sent to an orphanage run by nuns. Jeanne is a spirited, fiesty girl who does not fit with the nuns' ideas of what a woman is and does. She is excited when she is told she will move to Canada as that sounds more exciting than life as a nun. On board the ship, she is taught the uses of various herbs so she can be of more use in the colony as a healer. Her friend, who also came along, is slated to marry her older relative, already living in New France and who has just lost his wife and needs a mother for his children. While on board the ship, though, she falls in love with a young man. Jeanne decides to marry this girl's relative instead. She meets her new husband on her wedding day. Then she needs to learn to live with him. While the children seem eager for a new mom and the natives that live around her accept her as a friend and healer, her new husband sees her as a burden and a wimp. How she shows him who she really is and how she learns to fit in in her adopted country makes a wonderful story of hope and courage.(less)
This book definitely took away all the 'romantic' views I had about les filles du rois. (I had previously read and reread Jeanne, fille du roi by Suza...moreThis book definitely took away all the 'romantic' views I had about les filles du rois. (I had previously read and reread Jeanne, fille du roi by Suzanne Martel, a book for young people.
In this story an unlucky bunch of impoverished women- girls really- living in a poor house in Paris get shipped off to New France. For those who make it thru the voyage to New France, their hardships are just beginning. They have been sold a story of marriage and family life, building up France's new colony. What they get are rough men who'd rather hunt and trap than farm and settle down with a wife and pile of kids. Laure discovers that lucky tho she is that her new husband has a log cabin already, it is rough staying in it all winter by herself with only a pig for company while he is off trapping and having fun at the Native camps.
Lots of info about France in the 1600s and the lack of control people have over their own lives, esp. if they are poor and female.
The story didn't draw me in. I didn't 'care' for the characters at all. Some of what Laure does seems so random and strange. Why is she making pretty dresses out of the material she is supposed to clothe herself and her children with? She exposes herself to a Native man and later sleeps with him but there doesn't seem to be a lot of love going on between them, for her to take such a frowned-upon risk. And while the ending sounds about right for Laure, it didn't please me either. She probably would have done better in France, considering she has needlework skills that are wanted by high society.
Maybe all this egocentric behavior is because she is only 18 or so but to survive in New France she will have to do more than just whine about what is happening to her. She will need to make choices based on what is good for herself in the long run, not for whatever whim she has at the moment.(less)
I felt drawn into the story, rooting for Maia. She is a courageous heroine who tries to make the best of 2 very bad situations. The first, the loss of...moreI felt drawn into the story, rooting for Maia. She is a courageous heroine who tries to make the best of 2 very bad situations. The first, the loss of her parents brings her to a boarding school. This is when we are introduced to her. Then her guardian writes to let her know that she has distant relatives in South America who are willing to take her in. She decides, after a reflective evening spent in the library, that the Amazon might be a great new adventure. She befriends a young actor on the boat to Brazil, and finds friends quickly in her new city. The only ones who are not friendly to her are her 2 twin cousins and their parents. Police inspectors, a runaway heir and a fire are all part of her adventure.
While it is a teen book, i found some interesting points to ponder therein: the role of a parent is to protect and guide a child, so when does a parent let go and let the child persue their dreams? At 12? at 18? ever? Must you do 'what is expected of you' or can you create and follow your own path to happiness?(less)
This book differs from many underground railroad stories in that it depicts the real danger and devistation faced by those who put their lives and for...moreThis book differs from many underground railroad stories in that it depicts the real danger and devistation faced by those who put their lives and fortunes on the line to help the escaping slaves. (less)