Adèle: A Wilderness Bride. A Story of New France: Book Review

Adèle: A Wilderness Bride. A Story of New France: Book Review

This book review by Susan Stewart first appeared in the November 2012 issue of Life in Quebec Magazine

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.
This book is available from all good bookstores, this includes AngloStore, the English bookstore in Quebec City at Place Naviles.

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