King's Daughter, The
- Softcover230 pages
The year is 1672. Eighteen-year-old Jeanne Chatel has just been chosen as a "king's daughter", one of the hundreds of young women sent to the wilderness of North America by the French government to become the brides of farmers, soldiers, and trappers.
Orphaned at age ten, Jeanne has been raised in a convent. But with her independent spirit, she doesn't hesitate when she's given the chance to go to New France, as Quebec was then known. Her vivid imagination conjures up a brilliant new life full of romance and adventure.
Upon arrival in New France, however, Jeanne discovers that she must put aside her romantic dreams. Her husband is not a dashing young military officer, but a proud, silent trapper who lives with his two small children in a remote cabin -- a man whose beloved first wife was killed by the Iroquois. Jeanne must draw on all her courage and imagination to adjust to this backwoods life and respond to the dangers that surround her. She learns to paddle a canoe and fire a musket, masquerades as a man to save her husband's fur-trading permit, and fights off marauding Indians. By the end of a year, she has won the love of her husband and his family -- and at last feels truly at home in her new land.
"'Here it is. This is my estate, ' her husband announced.
Where? What estate? Jeanne wondered, but she was tactful enough not to show her disappointment. Some estate indeed!
Simon took her by the hand and proudly showed her every inch of it. There was a field as big as the deck of a ship, the blackened ruins of a house and, beside it, a ten-foot-long dwelling.
Peopled by traders and trappers, friendly Hurons and hostile Iroquois, The King's Daughter is a classic story of adventure and discovery, a tale for every young reader looking for a plucky heroine or intrigued by our country's colonial past.
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