Summer is in full swing. The weather remains hot and steamy in Montreal. So, why not take it easy and read a good book?
Here are some books that will interest genealogists who are researching their Canadian ancestry and want to know more about these historical periods, or anyone who just wants to read a good book. Bonne lecture!
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. Toronto, Ontario: Doubleday Canada, 2000. This story takes us back in time and into the life of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 19th century. Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence in Toronto, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.
Snowing in June: Remembering the Victims and Survivors of the Hillcrest Mine Disaster by Belle Kovach and Mary Bole. Crowsnest, Alberta: Crowsnest Historical Society, 2014. The Hillcrest mine disaster, the worst coal mining disaster in Canadian history and the world’s third worst, occurred at Hillcrest, Alberta, in the Crowsnest Pass region of western Canada, on June 19, 1914. A total of 189 workers died. Arranged by country or province of origin, this book chronicles the story of these men and their families. Using passenger lists, ancestry websites and census data, the authors said hundreds of people answered online inquiries to fill in missing pieces about a person.
Heroes of the Acadian Resistance: The Story of Joseph Beausoleil Broussard and Pierre II Surette 1702-1765 by Dianne Marshall. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Formac Publishing, 2011. This is the little-known story of the young men who led an Acadian resistance against the British in 18th-century Nova Scotia. Their battle was against a form of ethnic cleansing that saw British soldiers burn every remnant of the Acadian community — homes, barns and churches. All Acadians who the soldiers were able to round up were forcibly deported. Beausoleil ended up in Louisiana and Surette eventually lived out his days in Nova Scotia.
The Piano Maker by Kurt Palka. Toronto, Ontario: McClelland and Stewart, 2015. The suspenseful story in this best-seller takes place in France, Montreal, on the “French Shore,” which corresponds to the Baie-Sainte-Marie region in Nova Scotia, and in the North. Hélène Giroux arrives alone in St. Homais on a winter day in the 1930s. She wears good city clothes and drives an elegant car, and everything she owns is in a small trunk in the back seat. In the local church she finds a fine old piano, a Molnar, and she knows just how fine it is, for her family had manufactured these pianos before the Great War. Then her mother’s death and war forces her to abandon her former life.
Check out the following past blog posts for more good reading:
O, Canada! Summer reading for genealogists 2015
O, Canada! Summer reading for genealogists: Part 1
O, Canada! Summer reading for genealogists: Part 2
O, Canada! Summer reading for genealogists: Part 3 (en français)