Also By This Author
“With grandly accessible language and brilliant strokes Margaret Elphinstone re-creates a place within which we learn much of the capability of the human heart to endure and quicken with hope. The time is both dramatically distant and unsettlingly close to our own. . . . It speaks plainly and eloquently of matters grave and dark, of beauties still possible, of a world with faith and mystery. A remarkable triumph.” Jeffrey Lent, author of In The Fall
978-1-84195-643-5 • $14.00 • Paperback • Apr. 2005
“A marvelous . . . rich and moving . . . historical novel . . . Elphinstone has created a humble and courageous hero, a man historically and culturally remote, but strikingly relevant to our own age of war.” Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor
Voyageurs garnered praise for both its historical versimilitude and its exacting character portraits, as well as the story’s contemporary relevance in a time of international conflict. Elphinstone’s magnificent sixth novel, Voyageurs, gives us Mark Greenhow, a naive and peaceful Quaker who lands on the shores of North America on the eve of the War of 1812, thinking only of finding the missing sister he has always admired for her adventurous spirit.
Mark hitches a ride with the voyageurs who have canoed the rivers, transporting the tons of furs that feed the trade that has made the region a battleground of the French and British empires. Though Mark enters this brave new world with his conscience clean and his convictions sound, his encounters with a place and people he never could have imagined test his rigid upbringing. The backwoods of Canada have certainly led his sister astray; she has been excommunicated from the Society of Friends for running off with a non-Quaker. After her child is stillborn she runs again, deep into Indian country.
On this increasingly desperate search, Mark finds himself among spies and domestic warriors, displaced natives, infidels, and religious folk who must fight to maintain their particular way of life. Elphinstone’s crisp and effortless prose, coupled with her riveting, organic way with description, her fully drawn characters, and the history of the region, make this novel an astonishingly authentic and profoundly satisfying work of historical fiction.