Giller Prize nominee Pauline Holdstock’s novel Into the Heart of the Country explores the relationships between English fur traders and native women in Churchill Manitoba in the 18th-century. This multigenerational story is based on Holdstock’s research into the lives of Richard Norton, his son Moses, and explorer Samuel Hearne.
A good portion of the novel centers on Molly Norton, native daughter Moses and fictional wife of Hearne. It is through her recollections and ghost-like dreams that we are exposed to the unrelenting challenges and sorrows of the native women during that time.
Holdstock’s writing is rich, detailed and at times poetic, but the tale she tells is burdened with tragedy and injustice making this novel a heavy read. The harshness of the northern Canadian landscape is ever-present and vividly portrayed.
If you are interested in Canadian history then this account of 18th-century northern life, though fictionalized, is a slowly evolving but compelling and worth-while read.
By Nisha, GGC staff
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Looking for more GGC Book Club book choices for May? We select four great new books offered by Harper Collins Canada each month for each of the age categories below. If it’s on our book club list, then it has already received GGC’s approval based on specific criteria. Each book is also age-rated:
- Sparks and Brownies (5-8 year olds)
- Brownies and Guides (9-12 year olds), and
- young teen books for Pathfinders and Rangers (13 to 17 year olds)
Here’s a trailer for the Sparks and Brownies book for May: This Plus That by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.