“Laure story begins with the brutal murder of her parents by the king’s guard, claiming them to be beggars. She is sent to the infamous Sainte-Claire dormitory a “Divison of the Hoptial General de Paris”, pretty much a prison to teach young girls to be wives and servants for the upper class. Laure must conform to keep her place in what is considered the semi-decent dormitory. Although it is one of the better wards Laure decides to send a letter to the King about the poor treatment and condition in the hospital. She is shipped off to Canada, as punishment for her letter, where she is expected to marry a settler.
Laure traverses the Atlantic Ocean in subpar conditions on a ship to Canada. Only to be shipped up river on canoe to the small village of Ville-Marie, deeper into the Canadian wilderness . Ville-Marie is a small outpost where there are constant dangers from the savages (the Iroquois). Laure reluctantly accepts the marriage proposal of Mathurin. Soon after Laure is married, she is brought to Mathurin’s hunt in middle of now where abandon to survive on her own. Mathurin claims he is off fur trapping and must leave her through the worst of winters. Laure survives on her own ingenuity and the help of an Iroquois man named Deskanheh, someone she has befriend in Ville-Marie.
Bride of New France by Suzanne Desrochers is the tale of Laure Beasejour’s life. Bride of New France covers Laure’s life from early childhood till her ultimate forced immigration to Quebec Canada and the tribulations she must face to survive there. Life was hard for Laure, filled with great loss and the gargantuan need for person strengthen and character growth every step of the way just to endure. The choices that she makes are brutal and even heart breaking. Bride of New France depicts a realistic and historical view of life for a woman immigrant from France to “New France” in the mid-1600’s.
This is not my typical read, but I found it very interesting and eye opening. The plight of Laure and the strength she possessed to carry on another day of her existence is humbling. You can see the obvious research and devotion Suzanne Desrochers carries into this story. Bride of New France is a great representation of historical fiction.
This copy was given to me by Goodreads First Reads and Wwnorton in exchange for an honest review.”