The Acadians are descendants of the French settlers who established the first permanent white settlement in North America, on Île Ste. Croix, in the Bay of Fundy, in 1604. During the following century and a half, while their mother country, France, waged war with England, and the new land of Acadia changed hands between them ten times, the Acadians continued to clear the forests and reclaim fertile land from the sea. In 1755, under British rule, they were brutally removed from their rich farmlands and scattered to various parts of the world.
After the end of the Seven Years War in 1763, some Acadians returned to live under British rule and some remained in other lands. Their descendants, whether they live on the land that was once Acadia or in exile, still consider themselves Acadian because their mothers and grandmothers kept the dream alive. But who were these women of Acadia? The author explores their lives through several generations of ordinary women whose stories do not appear in the history of the battles, the negotiations, and the treaties that took place between the French and the British. And she explores what being ‘Acadian’ means for a modern woman who feels alienated from her Acadian roots and questions her identity.
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