Synopses & Reviews
"Playwright Cayley's debut novel is a tense slow burning story, skillfully constructed around a true historical event. Set in poverty and disease-ridden Montreal in 1751, the story centers on the life of FranÃ§oise Laurent who, after being arrested at age 16 for theft, comes to learn that her only hope for survival lies in her own words: 'Words, it seemed, were power, even for those with nothing in the world.' When FranÃ§oise's parents die of measles, she seizes the opportunity for a life as a maid to the wife of an affluent fur trader, where she is not reduced to stealing and begging to survive. But a moment of weakness leads to her pocketing her mistress's gloves, and resentment among her fellow servants results in her hasty imprisonment. FranÃ§oise's fierce, observant, and insightful qualities are well-depicted through her lyrical and deliberate narration notably in her relationship with moody Madame Pommereau, and in the love that unexpectedly develops between FranÃ§oise and another prisoner. Perhaps most memorable of all is Cayley's remarkably rich and haunting setting. Ages 12 up. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.