Bride Of New France

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Bride Of New France

by Suzanne Desrochers

Penguin Canada | January 18, 2011 | Trade Paperback

Bride Of New France is rated 3.4286 out of 5 by 7.
In 1669, Laure Beausejour, an orphan imprisoned with prostitutes, the insane and other forgotten women in Paris’ infamous Salpetriere, is sent across the Atlantic to New France as a Fille du roi. Laure once dreamed with her best friend Madeleine of using her needlework stills to become a seamstress on the Rue Saint-Honoré and to one day marry a gentleman. The King, however, needs French women in his new colony and he finds a fresh supply in the city’s largest orphanage. Laure and Madeleine know little of the place called New France, except for stories of ferocious winters and men 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 of coming into womanhood in a brutal time and place. From the moment she arrives in Ville-Marie (Montreal), Laure is expected to marry and produce children with a French soldier who can himself barely survive the harsh conditions of his forest cabin. But Laure finds, through her clandestine relationship with Deskaheh, an allied Iroquois, 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?

 

Bride of New France is a beautiful debut novel that explores a fascinating chapter in Canadian history.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 312 pages, 9 × 6.25 × 0.85 in

Published: January 18, 2011

Publisher: Penguin Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143173383

ISBN - 13: 9780143173380

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! The story of how Canada became populated with the filles de roi, their experiences and adjusting to life in Canada.
Date published: 2012-03-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Historically Interesting As I love Canadian historical fiction I enjoyed this book for its historical content. However, on a literary level, I wasn't enthralled. I felt no emotional connection to the main character Laure and wasn't a fan of the detached point of view. But considering that Desrochers is a student of history and not a writer I think she did pretty well on this first attempt.
Date published: 2011-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Good Canadian Read I enjoy reading historical fiction but it has rarely been Canadian historical fiction. As a grade 7 teacher, I could understand and relate back to the fils du roi. It was a great book to read and understand our beginings. This book gave me a new found respect for our country's heritage. If you are looking for something similar, pick up The Last Apache Girl by Jim Fergus (used and rare)
Date published: 2011-08-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from No literary masterpiece, but interesting. I chose to read this book because I love historical fiction. Taking real events and making them come alive through the embellishment of the facts by adding a character that one can easily connect with - this is what I really enjoy. Having that that, I believe that Suzanne Desrochers managed to accomplish this only partially. She is clearly more of a historian than she is a writer. The story really could have been far more interesting, and far more entertaining and intriguing. This was a fascinating time in Canadian history. However, instead of really capturing the experience of this time, and all the various hardships that were undoubtedly part of the experience, we heard about Laure who was the main character. She was unfortunately portrayed as a bit schizoid. This means that she lacked depth, and sometimes I truly did not understand what she was experiencing, whether it be because she was too damaged as a person in her early life experiences, or whether the writer was making an attempt to "intrigue" us, by giving us only a part of the thinking/feeling process. Laure is a girl, sent over to Canada by the king, presumably for writing him to tell him about their hardships (particularly around food) that she and her colleagues in the orphanage were experiencing. Once in Canada, her life was also not easy, as you can imagine - having been sent to north Quebec. It was interesting. I certainly found Laure's life in Canada more interesting than her life in France. It is an easy read. Once you get started on this, which is also quite easy to do, you will find yourself through it in about a day or two. Very quick, very simplistic, but a good first effort by Desrochers who herself claims NOT to be a writer. She was studying this topic for her school thesis, and hence wrote the book about this time.
Date published: 2011-06-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Interesting but lacking emotion I was initially attracted to this book because I love historical fiction and I love Canadian literature. It was interesting to read an account of one of the female settlers brought over from France. It is a perspective that is not usually offered. While I thought it was interesting, I felt that the book did not evoke strong emotion until the very end. I felt that the main character, Laure, was too detached. There was no emotional spark for me.
Date published: 2011-04-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Read! I found this to be a delightful and informative read. It is an historical novel which follows the life of a young girl named Laure. She is taken from her parents, beggers on the street, to live in the Saltpetrie Hospital in 17th century Paris. By the Kings Decree, the poor, the insane, orphans , those guilty of prostitution are gathered up and made to live in the Saltpetrie Hospital to clean up the streets of Paris. The life in this place is one of imprisonment, starvation and desparation. Laure eventually is forced to journey by boat along with many others to Ville -Marie in Canada, now known as Montreal to marry one of the rough homesteaders there. This life in Canada in the early days proves even worse than that of life in the Saltpetrie.There are many sorrows and deaths along the way - but Laure survives. Her marriage is more or less arranged to a man she abhors, and she takes up with one the Iroquois men. Despite what might seem like very depressing subject matter, Laure's strong spirit carries her through, and I sped through the book. This is a very wonderful and acccesible read - while providing me witih new historical information about Canada. Highly reccommended!
Date published: 2011-03-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Canadian historical fiction Bride of New France is a debut novel by Canadian Suzanne Desrochers. It arrived with a 'must read' recommendation that it definitely lived up to. Bride of New France tells the story of the filles du roi - the King's Daughters. In 1659 France is acting on the King's decree to "clean the streets". Clean the streets of the poor, the destitute, the beggars - "...troublesome sights for the young King and his regents". Seven year old Laure Beausejour is taken from her family and placed in the Salpêtriére Hospital - a building that housed prostitutes, criminals, the insane and the poor. It is here that Laure works in a dimly lit sewing room producing lace. She dreams of one day leaving, opening her own business and getting married. She does get to leave, but not in the manner she had planned. The King is eager to populate New France - the French colony in Canada. In 1669 Laure and her friend Madeleine are chosen to be sent to Canada as brides for the male colonists and to produce children. Rumours of life in New France tell of a terrible climate and danger from all sides. They turn out to not be rumours. I enjoy reading historical fiction, but this was even more of a treat as it was Canadian. Names and events brought to mind history lessons learned long ago. But Desrochers does more than bring it to mind - she brings it to life. The settings are full of fact based details that paint a vivid picture of both France and Canada. Desrochers' academic background in history serves her well. But it is the character of Laure I became so engrossed in. Her life in Salpêtriére is harsh, yet she dreams of something better and a future. When confronted with the brutal life that is New France, she still does not give in, despite being driven to the edge. The first half of the book, in France, involves more detail and serves almost as set up for the Canadian part of the novel. Desrochers surprised me here - Laure's character does not follow the path I expected. Her choices lead to some interesting plot lines and an ending I didn't expect. My only criticism - I wanted more of the Canadian life. The focus is on Laure, but I was interested in some of the secondary characters as well. Madame Rouillard, the bar owner/midwife has stories of her own to tell. And I'm curious as to what was in store for Laure after the book ended. A fascinating historical read about a period and place not as well documented as the English settlements. I look forward to more fiction from Suzanne Desrochers.
Date published: 2011-01-24

– More About This Product –

Bride Of New France

Bride Of New France

by Suzanne Desrochers

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 312 pages, 9 × 6.25 × 0.85 in

Published: January 18, 2011

Publisher: Penguin Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143173383

ISBN - 13: 9780143173380

From the Publisher

In 1669, Laure Beausejour, an orphan imprisoned with prostitutes, the insane and other forgotten women in Paris’ infamous Salpetriere, is sent across the Atlantic to New France as a Fille du roi. Laure once dreamed with her best friend Madeleine of using her needlework stills to become a seamstress on the Rue Saint-Honoré and to one day marry a gentleman. The King, however, needs French women in his new colony and he finds a fresh supply in the city’s largest orphanage. Laure and Madeleine know little of the place called New France, except for stories of ferocious winters and men 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 of coming into womanhood in a brutal time and place. From the moment she arrives in Ville-Marie (Montreal), Laure is expected to marry and produce children with a French soldier who can himself barely survive the harsh conditions of his forest cabin. But Laure finds, through her clandestine relationship with Deskaheh, an allied Iroquois, 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?

 

Bride of New France is a beautiful debut novel that explores a fascinating chapter in Canadian history.

About the Author

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.

Editorial Reviews

"a wholly original example of social history at its best" - John Barber, The Globe and Mail

“a fully imagined but deeply grounded novel” - John Barber, The Globe and Mail

“Bride of New France will not silence critics of the new social history, nor is it meant to. But if they do want to bring the past alive for a new generation, as they typically claim, they could never find a text more likely to engage the minds and imaginations of young people, especially girls, who have grown immune to the conventional narratives.” - John Barber, The Globe and Mail

“A moody, beautiful piece of historical fiction.” - Dana Medoro, Winnipeg Free Press

"A haunting story of a courageous young woman." - Kathleen Grissom, author of the bestselling The Kitchen House