Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor

I just completed the Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor, by Sally Armstrong, my 17th read for the challenge. This is an epic true story about Charlotte Taylor, who was considered the first woman settler of the Mirimichi (the Baie de Chaleur which is now part of New Brunswick) as written by her great great great grandaughter Armstrong. This was a wonderful novel, chronicalling the life of of Charlotte and her journey from England escaping with her lover, the family's butler, to the West Indies where he dies and she is left alone and pregnant, to her journey to Canada where she settled and eventually had their child Elizabeth and another 9 more children leaving a long ancestry in Canada. I really enjoyed this novel and always looked forward to finding out what challenge Charlotte was going to face next and how she would overcome the obstacles placed before her including husbands who died way to young and securing the deeds to the lands she cleared and which supported her growing family. Armstrong's amazing writing honours Charlotte's strong character and allows us to follow Charlotte's story seeing her beat the odds and achieve essentially all that she set out to do. It also honours the connection the native people of the area and how their history became intertwined with that of the British settlers who wanted to own land. A great read and highly recommended.

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