Monday, June 7, 2010
Shadow Song by Lorina Stephens
In the early 19th century, young Danielle Fleming is the daughter of a wealthy aristocratic mother and English overlord. Danielle is possessed with the gift of vision to prophesize the future. It is a gift shunned by English society, but one that will be welcomed in the future by a new civilization in a new world.
In England, Danielle's family is plagued by her uncle who lives in the wilds of Upper Canada and is determined to destroy them. Bit by bit, he plunges Danielle and her parents into extreme poverty. After the death of her parents, young Danielle is placed on a ship bound for Canada to live as a ward of the man who she holds responsible for her parent's death and who has devastated her life. Soon after she arrives, she encounters Shadow Song, a powerful Indian Shaman who takes an interest in her and protects her.
For Danielle, life with her malevolent uncle proves anything but easy. She struggles daily to keep safe from him. When his depraved morality and crimes are exposed, Danielle is forced to flee. She finds refuge with Shadow Song and his native family. In a clash of cultures, Danielle struggles for acceptance and comes of age in a foreign world.
Shadow Song is a deeply moving, highly descriptive emotive story about a young woman who overcomes adversity and finds true, meaningful love. The story is much more powerful than a standard romance, however. Lorina Stephens captures the essence of the harsh life of settlers in Canada and shows us the beauty of aboriginal life. One of the plotlines to the story is based upon true historical facts about the disappearance of four youths.
Shadow Song was a beautifully written story, one that was well researched as it pertains to the lives of settlers in the wilds of Upper Canada. Lorina Stephens' prose is lyrical and evokes emotion. The tale was poignant with memorable characters and a story line that immediately drew me into its folds. A wonderful addition to Canadian literature.