Synopses & Reviews
It is 1704 and, while the Sun King Louis XIV rules France from the splendour of Versailles, Louisiana, the new and vast colony named in his honour, is home to fewer than two hundred souls. When a demand is sent requesting wives be dispatched for the struggling settlers, Elisabeth is among the twenty-three girls who set sail from France to be married to men of whom they know absolutely nothing. Educated and skeptical, Elisabeth has little hope for happiness in her new life. It is to her astonishment that she, alone among the brides, finds herself passionately in love with her new husband, Jean-Claude, a charismatic and ruthlessly ambitious soldier.
Auguste, a poor cabin boy from Rochefort, must also adjust to a startlingly unexpected future. Abandoned in a remote native village, he is charged by the colonys governor with mastering the tribes strange language while reporting back on their activities. It is there that he is befriended by Elisabeths husband as he begins the slow process of assimilation back into life among the French.
The love Elisabeth and Auguste share for Jean-Claude changes both of their lives irrevocably. When in time he betrays them both, they find themselves bound together in ways they never anticipated.
With the same compelling prose and vividly realized characters that won her widespread acclaim for THE GREAT STINK and THE NATURE OF MONSTERS, Clare Clark takes us deep into the heart of colonial French Louisiana.
"The author treats the founding of French Louisiana with her signature dark realism and beautiful handling of character, plot, and pacing. Readers of Clark's earlier novels will enjoy this; it should also appeal to those interested in women's, French, New Orleans, or colonial-period history and in Native Americans." -- Library Journal "Clarks vast store of historical and geographical detail enriches the portraits of her three vibrant characters, whose destinies are inextricably, and memorably, bound." --Booklist
With the same compelling prose and vividly realized characters that won her widespread acclaim for "The Nature of Monsters," Clark takes readers deep into the heart of colonial French Louisiana.
A journey into the wilds of French Louisiana, where a woman shipped from France as a bride and a boy raised by natives are joined by their love of a ruthless soldier, in the latest historical novel from Clare Clark.
Praised by Hilary Mantel, Amanda Foreman, and the New York Times Book Review for her “verve and intelligence . . . [and] the originality of her imagination,” Clare Clark has become a rising star in historical fiction. Elisabeth is among twenty-three girls who set sail from France for the new colony of Louisiana to be married to strangers. Although she has little hope for happiness in her new life, she finds herself passionately in love with her new husband, Jean-Claude, a charismatic and ruthlessly ambitious soldier. But betrayal is as much a part of the new world as the old, and when Elisabeth finds herself deceived by her husband she also finds herself bound to a poor cabin boy in a way she never anticipated. Clark creates a world that is both incredibly real and incredibly dazzling. And with the same compelling prose and vividly realized characters that won her widespread acclaim for The Great Stink and The Nature of Monsters, she takes us deep into the heart of colonial French Louisiana.
About the Author
CLARE CLARK is the author of four novels, including The Great Stink, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize and named a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and Savage Lands, also long-listed for the Orange Prize. Her work has been translated into five languages. She lives in London.