The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval finds it is easier to remain neutral in a world that is tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the fray against her wishes when her British ex-fiance, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel asks her to help him escape, claiming he has information that could help end the war.
Peace appeals to Catherine, but helping the man who broke her heart does not. She delays . . . until attempts on Samuel's life convince her he's in mortal danger. Against her better judgment she helps him flee by river, using knowledge of the landscape to creep ever closer to freedom. Their time together rekindles feelings she thought long buried, and danger seems to hound their every mile. She's risked becoming a traitor by choosing a side, but will the decision cost her even more than she anticipated?
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Goodreads Rating: 4.61
Why I Chose This Book
I was sent this book from the publisher to review. This was one of my highly anticipated reads of the year because the synopsis sounded so unique from other historical fiction novels that I have read. When I read that it took place in Canada it got me intrigued right away. Also, any book that has Native American history in it, is a automatic go for me.
First Initial Thoughts
This story goes back and forth in time, with Catherine being the main protagonist. Catherine, is a 25 year old woman who is just merely trying to survive during the seven years war. Everything changes when her Ex-Fiance Samuel comes back into the picture. The story goes back and forth in time retelling her experiences as a child, falling in love with Samuel, and then loosing him when he goes off to war. Catherine’s mother was a member of the Mohawk and her father is a Frenchman. Growing up she experiences extreme racism, a father who is quite drunk all the time; and shame by the Mohawk tribe for choosing her father over them when her mother died. Through all this she still holds it together and is a confident and loyal person. Someone we all could look up to for sure!
Samuel is a young man I would say - torn between duty and love. He loves his country and wants to win the war against the British. However, when he comes back after 5 years, he must face his demons and also try to win back Catherine. I liked Samuel from the start. He was a loyal and protective friend to Catherine. A friendship that turned to love later on in their life. As stated previously I think he was torn between his country and love. I admire him for going off to protect his country but I think he could have handled it better.
Jocelyn did her research. You can really tell she did her research by the events, people, and culture mentioned in this book. I really liked that this was set in Quebec, Canada because I haven’t really read too many historical novels set in Canada. Also, I didn’t really know too much about the seven years war in Canada which took before the American Revolution. I also love that she stayed true to the history, culture, and life of the Mohawk.
What I loved most about this book is that Jocelyn really stayed true to the Mohawk culture, life, and history of their tribe. My emphasis in my Archaeology degree was Native American studies, so I can be a stickler for accuracy. And I also think any race should be accurately represented in any novel.
One thing that should be mentioned is that this book reads slow. It takes a while for the story to take off, and even then Jocelyn takes her time in writing the story. Therefore, I could see this not being a huge hit for some who like a more fast paced book. I do think this was intentional however, as we needed that for the character development and storyline.
Speaking of character development, Jocelyn should receive a A+ in this category. She really has a talent in capturing the raw emotion and development that Catherine, Samuel and others went through in this novel.
This book also emphasizes what people of mixed race (specifically half Native American, half english, french, etc.) experienced by people in that day and age. It also reminds us how to forgive. Forgive others for the choices they have made, whether or not they are good. What I found interesting as well is that God or Christianity wasn’t mentioned too much in this book. I think that what happens in the book is an underlining message for God’s forgiveness and love for us. No matter what we have done.
There are two particular scenes that I think that really sums up this book well but I won’t spoil anything. ;) I will just say if you have a sister, you will love this part and totally relate!
Would I Recommend?
Yes. However, be aware that it does reads slow. So if you like fast paced books, I would pass on this one.
You can purchase the book —> HERE
Have you been to Quebec, Canada? If so, what did you think of the area?
Note: I was sent a copy of this book to review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.