Ruth Seeley's Reviews > Bride of New France

Bride of New France by Suzanne Desrochers
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's review
Jul 06, 2011

liked it

After a slow start, this was increasingly compelling reading. Interesting that Desrochers' inspiration was, to some extent, the desire to explore and record the lives of Francophone women who preceded Susannah Moodie at roughing it in the bush by a good century. Laure and her midwife are both reluctant pioneers and early feminists. This novel goes a long way towards rewriting early French Canadian settlement herstory, as opposed to the official records of the Jesuits and the couriers du bois. As such, it's long overdue, in the same way Robert Hughes' history of Australia, The Far Shore, was. You could almost think of the filles du roi as Canada's first 'boat people' if you wanted....

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Smith Thanks for describing this fascinating book. It's amazing how little we Anglos (or me anyway) know about French Canadian history. Good to see it's had so much attention here.

Ruth Seeley I of course grew up in Ottawa, so Francophones were a part of my everyday life - the Desjardins next door and the Charbonneaus across the street. What struck me about this novel was the very clear parallel between poverty and sanctioned deportation and how often it's been used as a 'solution' by so many different nations: first you institutionalize the poor for petty crimes or merely for the crime of being poor, then you cast about for somewhere to dispose of them so they can starve outside your range of vision.

message 3: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Smith Don't put this idea about too much. Our present government are likely to get ideas!

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