Eleanor Estes/Moffat Books

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Maria Chapdelaine

by Louis Hemon
(1913, 132 pages)

Suggested for young adults (and adults). Kind of a "Little House in Quebec." Set in the early 1900's in sparsely populated Quebec, land of pioneers, loggers, trappers, farmers, and long, long winters. The talented Hemon visited this remote country, living and working with its people, and wrote the book in 1913.

The Chapdelaine family (fictional but loosely based on real people) conducts their family life in a warm bubble amidst the hostile environment of primitive Quebec. The depictions of the brutally cold climate and the courage and back-breaking physical labor necessary to survive in it are compelling. But the simplicity of the Chapdelaines and their friends, their relationships, and their faith in God, are what gives this book its beauty.

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