Books·Canadian

Promises to Keep

Genevieve Graham's novel follows a young Acadian woman forced out of her home when the British army invades Nova Scotia.

Genevieve Graham

Young, beautiful Amélie Belliveau lives with her family among the Acadians of Grande Pré, N.S., content with her life on their idyllic farm. Along with their friends, the neighbouring Mi'kmaq, the community believes they can remain on neutral political ground despite the rising tides of war. But peace can be fragile and sometimes faith is not enough. When the Acadians refuse to pledge allegiance to the British in their war against the French, the army invades Grande Pré, claims the land and rips the people from their homes. Amélie's entire family, alongside the other Acadians, is exiled to ports unknown aboard dilapidated ships.

Fortunately, Amélie has made a powerful ally. Having survived his own harrowing experience at the hands of the English, Corporal Connor MacDonnell is a reluctant participant in the British plan to expel the Acadians from their homeland. His sympathy for Amélie gradually evolves into a profound love and he resolves to help her and her family in any way he can — even if it means treason. As the last warmth of summer fades, more ships arrive to ferry the Acadians away, and Connor is forced to make a decision that will alter the future forever. (From Simon & Schuster)

From the book

The hummingbirds would return soon, tiny warriors marking the true beginning of summer in their frantic, efficient manner, and I smiled every time I saw them. For now I had to be satisfied with the robins, poking their little beaks into the dirt, retrieving what goodness they could find.

How simple for them, I thought, hoisting my second bucket of water. they pulled their food from the earth and drank their fill from the dew, and they had no chores at all. Early summer — nipk — to the Mi'kmaq, when Nipniku's brought the summer moon — meant the morning mud beneath our clogs would be cold, the stinging flies relentless. At the end of the day we would fall back into bed, exhausted and itchy.


From Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham ©2017. Published by Simon & Schuster.

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