Rosanne's Reviews > Bride of New France

Bride of New France by Suzanne Desrochers
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Aug 27, 2012

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Read in August, 2012

Suzanne Desrochers, Bride of New France tells the story of Laure Beausejour, one of the filles du roi sent to the New World by the King of France. The story is situated in both Old and New France.

The story begins with Laure, the daughter of street entertainers, being taken from her parents and incarcerated in the Hospice de Salpetriere. An institution in Paris in the 1600's that housed thousands of women, whose crime was only to be poor, mentally ill or prostitutes. Apparently, due to actions of her own, Laure is chosen to be one of the King's daughters and is sent to New France where she ultimately marries a man, Mathurin who will leave her to fend for herself and survive her first winter in New France. She survives the loss of her parents, poverty, a harsh life in both worlds, but for all of her suffering she is not a very sympathetic character. In fact, she seems to be a selfish person, especially regarding how she treats her friend Madeline.

It was this history of Canada that captured my attention, but I did not find it the engrossing read I was hoping for. I would have liked to have read more about life in Canada at the time, versus the detail provided of Laure's life in France. As well, the history is here but not as engaging a story line or characters, the focus is perhaps too limited to the main character, Laure.

The book gives you pause to consider the very harsh realities of life for these women, whether it was in Paris or in New France. It was refreshing to read about the experience of our first pioneers from a feminine perspective. It is a piece of history I was interested in reading about, but while the bones of a good storyline were here, I did not find it a strong work of fiction.

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