Saturday, July 07, 2007

Imperial Conflict - New book by Doris Faucher

In Tourist News, Southern Maine’s Leading Arts and Entertainment Publication, John L. McGee writes:
Third Historical Novel Continues Enthralling Tale of French Family in Eastern Canada

Good historical fiction serves history perhaps better than academic historical accounts and textbooks. The development of believable characters embroiled in any particular period of history makes absorbing historical detail much easier and, therefore, more effective.

A current case in point is Imperial Conflict by Doris P. Faucher (Artenay Press, 322 pages, paperback $19.95). This third installment in Faucher’s historical series set in Nouvelle France continues to involve generations of the Manchon clan.

Faucher's work sprang from her genealogical research over the years in search of the roots of her own family in Eastern Canada. While attempting to trace the layers of her ancestry, she became fascinated with the historical detail of the region and historical period.

Her skill as an author is in blending the two to give the reader great historical detail peopled with believable, endearing characters.

This novel details the growing tension between France and England over the American colonies and their respective imperial interests in the region’s vast resources.

The English colonial population had by the late 1700s far outpaced that of the French, and expansion demands of the English colonial population put increasing pressure on the French colonials. Throughout the eastern regions of Canada, all the way to the Allegheny Mountains, both super powers began establishing overlapping claims, and there was increasing tension on all sides.

England’s powerful navy and France’s military might in the area set the stage for final imperial conflict in North America.

These international maneuvers are played out in the background of ordinary citizens of the time, and Faucher gives us a clear and very realistic look at what it must have been like to live in the time. The level of detail in the characters’ lives is very informative, and a clear picture of clothing, cooking, work and play is excellent.

The author gives great attention to the numbers and quantities of materiel and equipment needed to wage military campaigns in the 18th century. Much as a reader is exhausted while reading Kenneth Roberts’ Arundel, as the characters haul a 14-man bateau through the woods, so, too, are we bone weary after “experiencing” the portaging of heavy wooden canoes and their attendant supplies over vast stretches of dry land between navigable waterways.

The previous two volumes in this series, Le Quebecois: The Virgin Forest, and The Rapids chronicle the lives and adventures of Bastien and Marguerite Manchon’s children and grandchildren in previous decades of the growth and development of Nouvelle France. Genealogical details and character lists are helpful in following the novels, and they are very detailed, as Faucher has used church and public records of her ancestors’ marriages, births, deaths, and movements in the area to bring her fictional characters to life.

These engrossing historical novels can be read in any order, but the real fabric of the family’s generational dynamic is best enjoyed by reading them in sequence.


Blogger richgrampa said...

Jacques, my mother, Barbara McGee Chasse, forwarded this to me, and I got a kick out of it, since my name is Richard Chasse. John L. McGee was my maternal grandfather, and the publisher wanted me to use a pseudonym, as I'm an advertiser in her paper. The publisher wouldn't accept my offer of Norm de Plume, so I chose my grandfather's name instead.

3:56 PM  

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