Bride of New France

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Penguin Canada, Jan 18, 2011 - Fiction - 312 pages
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Laure Beausejour has grown up in a dormitory in Paris surrounded by prostitutes, the insane, and other forgotten women. She dreams with her best friend, Madeleine, of using her needlework skills to become a seamstress and one day marry a nobleman. But in 1669, Laure is sent across the Atlantic to New France with Madeleine as filles du roi. The girls know little of the place they are being sent to, except for stories of ferocious winters and Indians who eat the hearts of French priests. To be banished to Canada is a punishment worse than death.

Bride of New France explores the challenges Laure faces coming into womanhood in a brutal time and place. From the moment she arrives in Ville-Marie (Montreal) she is expected to marry and produce children with a brutish French soldier who himself can barely survive the harsh conditions of his forest cabin. But through her clandestine relationship with Deskaheh, an allied Iroquois, Laure finds a sense of the possibilities in this New World.

What happens to a woman who attempts to make her own life choices in such authoritative times?

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About the author (2011)

Suzanne Desrochers grew up in the French-Canadian village of Lafontaine on the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario. She currently lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. She is completing a PhD thesis at King's College comparing the migration of women from Paris and London to colonial North America. She also wrote her MA thesis on the Filles du roi, combining Creative Writing and History, at York University in Toronto. Bride of New France is her first novel.

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