"Bride of New France is a gorgeous historical debut, in no small part because Suzanne Desrochers's superb imagination brings this period of Canada's story to vivid, vivid life."
− Joseph Boyden
The filles du roi, the impoverished girls and women of the infamous Parisian hospital and poorhouse Salpêtrière, sent to New France in the 1660’s to become the wives of soldiers and farmers. They were tasked with giving birth to a new colony. Did the filles du roi embrace the opportunity to escape the poorhouses, or were they forced into a life of servitude in a strange new land? But what happens to a woman who attempts to make her own life choices in such authoritative times? We are excited to meet Suzanne Desrochers and learn about this part of Canadian history. The Bride of New France is her first novel.
Tiger Hills, the sensational first novel by Toronto author Sarita Mandanna, has been long-listed for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize. The novel is set on a coffee plantation in Southern India at the turn of the 20th Century. As the first girl born to the Nachimada family in over sixty years, the beautiful Devi is the object of the adoration of her entire family. Strong-willed and confident, she befriends the shy Devanna, a young boy whose mother has died under tragic circumstances. The two quickly become inseparable, until Devi meets Machu the tiger killer, a hunter of great repute, and a man of much honour and pride. When Machu and Devi fall deeply in love, a wedge is driven between Devi and Devanna. It is this tangled relationship between the three that leads to a devastating tragedy -- an event that changes their fates forever and has unforeseen and far-reaching consequences for generations to come. I am reading this right now and can't wait to go home to find out what happens next! The author, Sarita Mandanna made waves in the publishing world when she received the highest advance ever paid by an Indian publisher to a first-time author.
When Kalila is born to Maggie and Brodie, joy jostles for emotional space with devastation: their daughter has been born with a variety of medical problems doctors are unable to diagnose under a single heading. The young parents take turns sitting by the isolette, soaking up all information they can glean (which they must then decipher on their own). They watch the other babies in distress, and the other parents’ coping, or not, with the horror of those situations, comparing their own baby’s chances for recovery, their own place in this strange, bewildering universe they all inhabit. This is a book not just about parenthood and the imperative of love and responsibility for another life, but a novel about illness and death, and how we—as a society—approach this universal yet feared element of our shared existence. Told with grace, honesty, and ultimately uplifting humour, Kalila is a sensitive, nuanced account of the strange horror of being a parent to a very ill baby. Rosemary Nixon penned Kalila on two continents over fifteen years.
I hope you can attend what is sure to be an enjoyable and interesting evening with these three dynamic women! - Bronwyn