Between Two Shores
by Jocelyn Green
Jocelyn Green masterfully makes history come alive. In this story of Montreal in the mid 1700's, she brings the sights, smells, and sounds of the fur trade to life. The tension between the French, the British, the natives, and others is not well understood by most today. Shows like Frontier have helped, but Green makes the story much more personal.
This book features Catherine Stands Apart Duval, a woman with a French father and Mohawk mother, as she tries to find her place in a world that is hostile to those with mixed heritage. After her mother dies, she goes to live with her father (a mean drunk) to help him manage a fur trading post. The truths Green has discovered about life on the Canadian frontier are both fascinating and at times horrifying. From beatings to 'remove the savage' at a boarding school to the enslavement of people caught up in the wrong side of the war, this is a raw story that demonstrates the true grit and courage of people of the time.
Green never sugar-coats history -- she portrays the difficulties of life in a way that transports the reader to the center of a battlefield, the middle of a suffering town, or even down the river in a peaceful early morning canoe trip. She highlights the ways God provides opportunity to find joy and repair broken relationships in the midst of devastation.
Please note this is NOT historical romance, and that makes the book even better! There is no typical sense of who will woo whom that is predictable and sappy. This story is about the difficulties of family life in a frontier world, the joys found in hard work and companionship, and moving beyond heartbreak to make a difference in the world.
This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in strong female characters, accurate historical accounts, and an understanding of what life was really like in a complicated period of time. I really appreciated Green's appendix that gave more background to the time and clarified the truth from fiction in her book.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
She Has Always Moved between Worlds, But Now She Must Choose a Side
The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval would rather remain neutral in a world tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the Seven Years' War against her wishes when her British ex-fiancé, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel claims he has information that could help end the war, and he asks Catherine to help him escape.
Peace appeals to Catherine, even if helping the man who broke her heart does not. But New France is starving, and she and her loved ones may not survive another winter of conflict-induced famine. When the dangers of war arrive on her doorstep, Catherine and Samuel flee by river toward the epicenter of the battle between England and France. She and Samuel may impact history, but she fears the ultimate cost will be higher than she can bear.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King; Wedded to War; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, pie, the color red, and reading with a cup of tea. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with an electronic copy. All opinions are my own.