Wednesday, January 9, 2019

#BookReview: Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

Christian Historical

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The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval finds it is easier to remain neutral in a world that is tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the fray against her wishes when her British ex-
fiance, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel asks her to help him escape, claiming he has information that could help end the war.

Peace appeals to Catherine, but helping the man who broke her heart does not. She delays . . . until attempts on Samuel's life convince her he's in mortal danger. Against her better judgment she helps him flee by river, using knowledge of the landscape to creep ever closer to freedom. Their time together rekindles feelings she thought long buried, and danger seems to hound their every mile. She's risked becoming a traitor by choosing a side, but will the decision cost her even more than she anticipated? 

"Now for something completely different."

That's what I thought on picking up Jocelyn Green’s Between Two Shores. I had not read the author before, but it had been a minute since I had tackled anything set during the French and Indian War, and the possibilities promised by the novel made me positively giddy.

Between Two Shores incorporates some great historical subject matter, the experiences of captives taken by Native American tribes are more than noteworthy, but I was transfixed by Green’s depiction of the female practitioners of the fur trade. This little-known chapter was entirely new to me, and I love how Green's exploration emphasized authentic feminine fortitude without inventing an anachronistic exception to eighteenth-century norms.

The novel affords excellent insight into the lives of Quebec’s French colonists, and I found the atmospheric details quite comprehensive. I also liked the cross-cultural notes Green was able to explore through Catherine’s unique heritage and complex emotional relationships.

The novel's religious themes are moderate, but I felt they paired nicely with Catherine’s struggle to identify her place and individual purpose. Green plays with ideas of guilt, familial obligation, and personal happiness, and while I’m not particularly religious, I found the material compelling and intensely creative.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Netgalley
Read: January 7, 2019

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