Into the Heart of the Country

Into the Heart of the Country Set in eighteenth century Churchill this compelling new novel takes the reader deep into unexplored territory Appearing only fleetingly in the historical record of the Hudson s Bay Company are the Na

  • Title: Into the Heart of the Country
  • Author: Pauline Holdstock
  • ISBN: 9781554686346
  • Page: 300
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Set in eighteenth century Churchill, this compelling new novel takes the reader deep into unexplored territory Appearing only fleetingly in the historical record of the Hudson s Bay Company are the Native women who lived at the company s Prince of Wales Fort and served as country wives to the European traders and whose survival was bound, for better or worse, to tSet in eighteenth century Churchill, this compelling new novel takes the reader deep into unexplored territory Appearing only fleetingly in the historical record of the Hudson s Bay Company are the Native women who lived at the company s Prince of Wales Fort and served as country wives to the European traders and whose survival was bound, for better or worse, to the fortunes of those men Across than two centuries, the mixed blood woman Mary Norton, daughter of Governor Moses and personal favourite of the explorer Samuel Hearne, speaks to us from her dreams As the story of her liaison with Hearne unfolds, we move toward its tragic consequences When their small society is torn apart by a French attack on the fort, Mary and the other women find themselves and their children abandoned by their British masters Now in one of history s cruel ironies they must fend for themselves in the harsh country from which their own ancestors sprang Unflinching, powerful and rich in moral ambiguity, this haunting novel explores a tragic meeting of cultures that still reverberates in the present day.

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      Posted by:Pauline Holdstock
      Published :2018-07-09T05:44:13+00:00

    1 thought on “Into the Heart of the Country”

    1. Heartbreaking. Holdstock has a very subtle way of detailing her contempt for how the English (and later the French) destroyed the Native Indian way of life. Or, it's the uglier side of colonization, or how colonization affected the native women and the children they bore for the English. The story briefly opens with Richard Norton taking a "country wife" and later ripping her son away from her to take him to England to become an English-boy. A cruel joke for the mother, the son (Moses Norton) an [...]

    2. An important slice of Canadian/British history, based on historical facts. There is a lot to like about this book, especially if the reader is interested in the history of the Indigenous Canadian people and how the arrival of Europeans affected their way of life. This story takes place well after the arrival of the first Europeans, the Indigenous people are used to trading with the English, have become dependent on guns and developed a taste for rum and brandy. The British men take (seemingly no [...]

    3. Into the Heart of the Country is based on the life of Molly Norton, one of the daughters of Moses Norton, a half Native governor of the Hudson Bay Company’s Prince of Wales Fort in Manitoba in the 18th century. Holdstock provides a fictionalized account of the lives of the fort’s inhabitants and their relationships with one another, including the nearby Native American populations. The story opens at the end of Molly’s life, and she recounts her life, her father’s life, and her grandfath [...]

    4. The narrative of this story is slow and insightful. Here two cultures mingled and co-depended on each other, and when one was gone, the other one almost lost the ability to survive. It is a tragic story about human endeavours, dreams and their confrontation with reality. The constant change in nature, economy, and politics, demolishes all of our "blue castles," and then we try to build the new ones. "Panta rei," nothing stays the same.

    5. Beautiful, beautiful. If you like Louise Erdrich's books, you will love this one. Ms. Holdstock is a poet. I enjoyed Into the Heart of the Country in the way I did Erdrich's, The Plague of Doves--transported to another time and place through a compelling story, rich imagery, and lyrical sentences.Just one example of what I was captivated by, and why this book was long-listed for the 2011 Giller Prize:"I have looked on this in all the long days and I have seen how the people were like seeds adrif [...]

    6. An excerpt from one of our Girl Guides book club reviewers:"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." -- Nishagirlguidescanblog [...]

    7. Pauline Holdstock has a knack for integrating little-known historical facts into a well-woven story. In this case, she expands on the interactions between the European men who came to the forts for trading and the natives, particularly the 'country wives'. The many harsh implications of the relationships are shown, and are related from the point of view of Molly, the daughter of one governor who becomes the wife of another, Samuel Hearne.

    8. This was a very good history lesson on the very northern part of Manitoba. How the early settlers survived those winters is beyond me. The British certainly didn't treat the aboriginals very well, especially the women who were used as concubines and discarded when they returned to their wives in England. Her characters were very well drawn, both the villains and heroes.

    9. The basic story about the two governors in charge of Prince of Wales fort is excellent but the attempt at dream sequences and philosophizing the native way of life detracted from the most important aspects of survival in its many senses.

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