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Thora Illing

The author of this debut historical romance is a former journalist and librarian who emigrated to Canada from the UK. Retired now, she lives in Victoria. She loves travel, books, nature and animals.

Writing Adèle made me think of my own early years in Canada. As a young immigrant I remember my lonely job search in Vancouver. It was October and for many days the rain fell pitilessly out of a low, grey sky. I was homesick, jobless,short of money and unsure that I could ever feel at home in this alien land. But eventually the rain ceased and the clouds rolled away to reveal the high mountains of the North Shore. In sunshine Vancouver was all I had imagined it to be.

I came to love Canada. Today it is home and I have been a proud citizen for many years. I love the space, the fiords and forests of the west, and I enjoy revisiting vibrant Toronto and Montreal, cities where I worked.

Canada seems to me the most hopeful country in the world. Problems exist but I always have the belief that they can be surmounted with tolerance and good sense. Long before us the aboriginal peoples lived in this land and then came the French and then the Scots and English and today the country is surely richer for a mingling of peoples from many lands.

The imaginary heroine of my novel was unusual because she was literate at a time when few could read and write. Adèle does not remain in New France but she returns to France a stronger and more compassionate woman because of her experiences here.

Thora Kerr Illing