Bound for a new continent, and a new beginning. In her illuminating debut novel, Aimie K. Runyan masterfully blends fact and fiction to explore the founding of New France through the experiences of three young women who, in 1667, answer Louis XIV’s call and journey to the Canadian colony. They are known as the filles du roi, or “King’s Daughters”—young women who leave prosperous France for an uncertain future across the Atlantic. Their duty is to marry and bring forth a new generation of loyal citizens. Each prospective bride has her reason for leaving—poverty, family rejection, a broken engagement. Despite their different backgrounds, Rose, Nicole, and Elisabeth all believe that marriage to a stranger is their best, perhaps only, chance of happiness. Once in Quebec, Elisabeth quickly accepts baker Gilbert Beaumont, who wants a business partner as well as a wife. Nicole, a farmer’s daughter from Rouen, marries a charming officer who promises comfort and security. Scarred by her traumatic past, Rose decides to take holy vows rather than marry. Yet no matter how carefully she chooses, each will be tested by hardship and heartbreaking loss—and sustained by the strength found in their uncommon friendship, and the precarious freedom offered by their new home.
I have always been fascinated by the Filles du Roi (aka - the Daughters of the King). In the 18th century, King Louis of France, gathered young woman of good standing, and under his protection sent them to New France for the sole purpose of marrying and begetting children to populate the new world. Many of the young women came from convents, or were orphans, or were from noble families who had come upon hard times. After the perilous journey to Quebec, these women had their pick of men to marry. This novel is about several young women and their experience beginning in France until they arrived in Canada, and after their marriages.
It is very much a tail of hardship, of adapting to, and earning a living in a harsh new world, of love and hope and dreams. Not all marriages worked well. This is very much a tale of courage and adversity. What is wonderful is that the story will continue with a future book 2 and 3. As a Canadian and having visited Quebec and even having done a bit of research into the King's Daughters, I found the novel very well written and accurate. As all character drive novels, the plot is a little slower but steady. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am eagerly awaiting the future books in this fabulous trilogy. Highly recommended - especially for Canadian Book Clubs.
Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.