Pilgrimage opens in the deep winter of 1891 on the Métis settlement of Lac St. Anne. Known as Manito Sakahigan in Cree, “Spirit Lake” has been renamed for the patron saint of childbirth. It is here that people journey in search of tradition, redemption, and miracles.
On this harsh and beautiful land, four interconnected people try to make a life in the colonial Northwest: Mahkesîs Cardinal, a young Métis girl pregnant by the Hudson Bay Company manager; Moira Murphy, an Irish Catholic house girl working for the Barretts; Georgina Barrett, the Anglo-Irish wife of the hbc manager who wishes for a child; and Gabriel Cardinal, Mahkesîs’ brother, who works on the Athabasca river and falls in love with Moira. Intertwined by family, desire, secrets, and violence, the characters live one tumultuous year on the Lac St. Anne settlement—a year that ends with a woman’s body abandoned in a well.
Set in a brilliant northern landscape, Pilgrimage is a moving debut novel about journeys, and women and men trying to survive the violent intimacy of a small place where two cultures intersect.
Davidson's writing has been long-listed for the Canada Writes CBC creative nonfiction prize (2012) and has won the Writers' Guild of Alberta "Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize" (2010). Her work has appeared in Alberta Views, Avenue Edmonton Magazine, The Winnipeg Review, Women's Words as well as the academic anthologies Analyzing Mad Men and Spectral America. She has a Ph.D. in literature and has taught at the University of Alberta and the University of York, UK. She was chosen as one of Edmonton's "Top 40 Under 40" by Avenue Magazine in late-2011.
Davidson's debut novel Pilgrimage will be published by Brindle & Glass in September 2013.