Bride of New France

Bride of New France

Book - 2012
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Transporting readers from cosmopolitan seventeenth-century Paris to the Canadian frontier, this novel tells of the struggle to survive in a brutal time and place. Laure Beausejour has been taken from her destitute family and raised in an infamous orphanage to be trained as a lace maker. Striking and willful, she dreams of becoming a seamstress and catching the eye of a nobleman. But after complaining about her living conditions, she is sent to Canada as a fille du roi, expected to marry a French farmer there. Laure is shocked by the primitive state of the colony and the mingling of the settlerswith the native tribes. When her ill-matched husband leaves her alone in their derelict hut for the winter, she must rely on her wits and her clandestine relationship with an Iroquois man for survival.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton, 2012
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780393073379
Characteristics: x, 294 p. ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Bride of New France : a novel


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Mar 26, 2017

This historical novel took a while to pull me in, partly because of Desrochers’ expository writing style that seemed like it was a thesis project (which it was). But often she would end chapters with beautiful poetic images – for example, at the death of a friend: “Laure reaches in the air. She doesn’t know how to hold back a soul in flight.”
Regardless, I did get caught up in the story of 17th century neglected women from France sent to Canada (New France) to be wives for the rough-living fur trappers and soldiers. It was thought-provoking to see the situation from the traumatic perspective of the women who were sent to populate the new country after having read The Orenda by Joseph Boyden, which uses a similar cast of characters but comes from the perspective of the Native Indians and Jesuits trying to “tame” them.

WVMLStaffPicks Aug 29, 2014

I felt the itchiness of bug bites and wearing homespun cloth as I read this extremely well researched novel of New France. Laure leaves her desperate life in a Paris institute for orphans for an even more dreadful existence carving out a life in New France as a fille du roi. In Quebec she fulfills her contract by marrying a soldier who leaves her to fend for herself for much of the year. A great read for those who have an interest in early Canada or like historical fiction.

Jul 28, 2013

L'histoire d'un des mutliples voyages effectués par les femmes françaises, soit de mauvaise-vie ou désoeuvrées pour venir au Canada prendre mari et peupler le nouveau pays. Tout s'entre-mêle entre la peur de l'inconnu, ces jeunes femmes devenues des proies faciles, la dureté dans laquelle elles étaient livrée et le cloisonnement, mais aussi les allieés et la rivalité.

Merveilleux récit où on se demande comment elles ont pu survivre à tout ça.

Beaucoup aimé.

d2013 Feb 24, 2013

I enjoyed this book. It made for a good read and learned a few lessons along the way on early settlers in Canada. I'm just glad things have changed for us ladies.

MariePat Jan 03, 2013

This was an ok book. It kind of dragged and I did not find I could engage with the characters. It picked up near the end and the descriptions of the scenery were well done.

Dec 31, 2012

Enjoyed the details of settler life in early Canada - a fascinating part of our history. A quick read, but was too short to really go into the details of what motivated the characters to act how they did.

jdaigle3 Dec 03, 2012

What a gracefully written book! It is definitely only for those who love historical fiction and are not squeamish about the not so pleasant aspects. It is fiction, but quite frank which is refreshing. Too often historical fiction glosses over the deprivations and sheer hard work involved in period daily life.

Nov 29, 2012

a completely superficial, and disappointing, account of the trials of a French colonizer doing her duty for the king, a position of only legend according to even the author herself in her postscript, in a land where she wouldn't've lasted a minute with her attitude, the author puts a modern woman, with all her moral liberties, in the shoes of a woman of an entirely other and alien era, improbably and unconvincingly, though she did keep me reading until the very unsatisfying end, which says something

(Staff) Elaine Bird Oct 09, 2012

I really enjoyed this historical novel. The description of what life must have been like for these women was fascinating. I liked and admired the main character Laure despite her faults. An interesting chapter in Canadian history and an entertaining read.

colleenb Oct 01, 2012

Gripping. I couldn't put this down. Now I need to brush up on my French Canadian history.

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Feb 21, 2013

re_discover thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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MariePat Jan 03, 2013

Laure, a girl growing up in a orphanage in Paris dreams of becoming a seamstress. However her fate is to go to New France to become a wife to the French colonists. A interesting novel which describes life in 1668 in the new colony of New France.


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Feb 21, 2013

Sexual Content: Description of a rape, and unspecific sex scenes


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