“Trying to find love when life twists, Adele is a fine pick for fans of romance in history, very much recommended reading.” The Midwest Book Review – Small Press Bookwatch. February 2013
. . . a literate, impressively researched world that the narrator conjures up, a little bit like Jane Austen transported to the cold north of the new world. Writer’s Digest, 2012.
This is a delightful historical novel. It is the second book on this topic that I have read. Young French woman were needed in early Canada, but often the women were met with lower expectations than anticipated – cold weather, wilderness, Indians, crude lodging, snow, and unpleasant spouses. Just getting across the Atlantic was an ordeal. Evelyn Kelley “Insomniac” (The Woodlands, TX United States)
Adèle: A Wilderness Bride. A Story of New France
By Thora Kerr Illing, Riverwest Publishing
Adèle was among the young women sent from France with les filles du roi . She was literate, unlike most of the women, and should have married an officer or a merchant. Fate trapped her in a brutal marriage on a wilderness farm with an abusive husband. She was helped to escape to Quebec City by a coureur-de-bois and there rebuilt her life, claiming to be a widow.
The daily life of the early colonists is hard to imagine by those of us living in 21st century Canada.
Those young women, most still in their teens, must have worked from dawn to dusk grinding corn, cooking, washing clothes, tending animals and labouring in the fields alongside their husbands, and of course bearing and caring for their numerous children.
I found that the author’s career as a journalist and librarian, enabled her to research and create a plausible and accurate background for this story. I was able to imagine myself in that period of time. Like her heroine, Ms. Illing is also an immigrant, having come to Canada as a young woman. This insight helped to her to develop Adèle’s character.
This book would interest someone wanting to learn more about the beginnings of the European colonisation of this continent without having to consult a formal history of the time period.
For anyone fascinated with France and the history of their role in the new world that came to be known as Quebec Canada, this is a wonderful novel to begin with. Adele, the illegitimate daughter of a high ranking nobleman, is offered as a Filles du Roi (a Daughter of the King) whereby young single women were given a small dowry in exchange for their promise to travel to Colonial Canada to wed and raise a family and children in an effort to populate the new world.But Adele’s hopes are dashed when the man she marries abuses her. What ensues is how Adele managed to escape her abusive husband, struggles to forge herself a new life on her own, and ultimately finds happiness.
The novel is authentic, well-written, and accurately researched, with real secondary characters, and political experiences of the time. I continued reading it with interest into the very end because Adele was such an intriguing heroine. Great Historicals (Canada and USA)
A very interesting period to read about. The book held my attention, wanting to know the fate of Adele, I could not put this book down! Wendy (saratoga, ca United States)