Raised in an orphanage in seventeenth-century Paris, Laure Beausejour dreams of becoming a seamstress and escaping the walls of the orphanage. But when Laure rebels against the rules of the institution’s leaders, she is sent to Canada as a fille du roi, and is expected to marry a French farmer who has settled there.
Barely surviving the journey across the ocean to her new home, Laure is overwhelmed by her new primitive living conditions, and the native tribes that mingle with the French settlers. When her new husband leaves her in their home for the winter, she must rely on herself to survive. Soon, she finds herself engaged in a relationship with an Iroquois man that could jeopardize the new life she’s established in this strange new land.
Bride of New France is a beautiful debut from Suzanne Desrochers and is quite a page-turner. From Laure’s life and relationships in the orphanage, to her struggle to survive the journey and settlement into the new world, Desrochers has created a character with whom readers can easily identify. My only complaint is that I felt that the novel ended rather abruptly. I would have liked to read a little more of Laure’s story, to discover how she continued her life in the new world. And while I certainly wouldn’t call this story an easy read, as it was at times very somber, it is a read that will stay with you well after you’ve read the final page.
Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by W.W. Norton & Company. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.