48th Book of 2004 finished


Just finished Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather last night before I turned out the light. I don't know where I got this book, or really even why I bought it--although I adored My Antonia and Death Comes For the Archbishop. It looks new, so I probably didn't buy it in one of my trips to Half Price Books.

Anyway, it is a (an?) historical novel--the story of Quebec in 1697/1698--told as a year in the life of a 12/13 year old girl. Not much plot here, but a gentle evocation of a place and time--and how hard it always is for those who go to the frontier--trying to be someplace new yet hang on to those things which made the old life charming and comfortable. Cecile Auclair is the daughter of the pharmacist, who came to Quebec when his patron, Count Frontenac, was sent by the King of France. There has always been the assumption that he would eventually go "home"--back to France. When it appears that this will happen, Cecile becomes depressed. For her, Quebec has become home, and France is simply something talked about it stories. It captures that division that must have occurred everywhere the frontier was settled, between those who knew what they had left behind and those for whom that frontier was all they knew. Very thought provoking, in that sense.

Not nearly as good as the other two of Cather's works I had read, I still think it would be an awesome addition to a homeschooling history curriculum studying North American history.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on December 27, 2004 8:19 AM.

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