on Sep. 3, 2017 :
Books We Love dedicated this series to the immigrants male and female, who left their homes and families, crossed oceans and endured unimaginable hardships in order to settle in the Canadian wilderness and build new lives in a rough and untamed countr
At Fort Quebec in July 1628, there is very little food and ammunition. Champlain knows he and his family cannot survive another winter. He intends to go to the fisheries in New Foundland although Protestants don’t accept Catholics. However, he is still relying on the arrival of the French Fleet which will bring supplies and settlers.
Captain David Kirke, who has a letter of marque from King Charles I to seize all of New France’s settlements, wins a battle against the French fleet. He fills his ships’ holds with goods taken from it, decides to ransom the French captain and another nobleman, and to return the settlers to France.
Four months later in London, David dines at Lord Andrew’s house where he becomes reacquainted with Sara, who is fourteen-years younger than he is.
Throughout the novel, I enjoyed Ms Pym’s descriptions of people and places in England and Canada.
The Andrews’ four storey house “is grand. Large windows filled with leaded lights twinkled in the sun and brightened the chambers. Finely worked wooden balusters took one to the living areas and rich panelling gave the chambers a warm glow. Their mantelpieces were decorated with gold leaf.”
Ms Pym also captures London’s sights, people from every walk of life, the stink of the city and much more and paints superb word pictures of Avalon.
Andrews and the other shareholders in The Merchant Adventurers are pleased with their investment. In Spring David will return to Canada to take the French colonies and make them English, but David and Sara’s parents arrange for them to marry when he returns. Reluctant to consent, he admits he cannot sail the seas forever.
From the moment I met Sara in Pillars of Avalon I admired the clever young lady with a mind of her own. When her mother objects to David taking her to see his father’s fleet at Deptford she says: “We will do well, Mother, have no fear. After All Mister Kirke has subdued savages and French Roman Catholics. He’s crossed violent seas filled with Moor pirates.” One day Sara will rise to the challenge of single handedly managing her vast legacy of land and fisheries from David.
While writing this fictional biography based on fact, Ms Pym gives the reader many interesting historical facts. In Deptford, David explains the stink is caused by the combination of pitch, raw wood, sulphur and brimstone to purify the interior of ships after long voyages.
I recommend Pillars of Avalon the story of a husband and wife, who love each other, can conduct business alone or together, endure hardship and success at home and abroad, who are remembered today
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)