I love history.
I love books.
I do not like staying up into the wee hours of the morning reading because then I cannot write/work/function the next day, but that is exactly what happened when I read Aimie Runyan’s Duty to the Crown (Kensington).
I couldn’t put it down. I will blame Aimie for my grumpiness the next day and a total lack of energy to clean up my messy house.
Set in 1677, in the struggling village of Quebec, Canada, and in the Huron tribal lands, three women are all trying to forge a life.
Christine was born in France before arriving in Quebec, hoping to find a husband with money so she can settle down and be safe.
Gabrielle’s father is a drunk. She has to marry by the age of sixteen (Ugh. Can you imagine? And this was by law). She is not in love with her difficult husband and the loneliness she experiences is an eternal ache.
Manon LeFebvre is simply trying to fit in somewhere. She was born into the tribe but later adopted by a couple in Quebec. She is straddling two cultures, with heartbreak in between.
This is the story of friendship, of women’s struggles 350 years ago, of love and pain. It’s all set against a meticulously researched historical background.
Honestly, it feels like you’re right there – in the village, with the people, seeing their clothes, their homes, their farms, the dangers, the threats, and the joys. You can smell the pine trees, the wind, the food, the fear.
This paragraph grabbed me from the start, “The path through the forest was far more arduous than if she skirted its perimeter, but the cover of the trees protected her from view. The scent of pine danced in her nose and perfumed her skin. Manon considered it the smell of her home and her people. She cursed the feeble light of the dusk hour when the towering evergreens blocked much of the weak spring sun. When true night fell, she would be able to track her path by the stars, but only if she could see them free from the overhanging limbs. She did not fear the night or the animals that lived by moonlight. A child of the forest, she knew the most dangerous creatures lived not in trees, but in the growing town to the southeast of her village.”
Take a look at Duty to the Crown and transport yourself back in time.
Trust me on this one and happy reading!
About Aimie K. Runyan:
Aimie K. Runyan is an author of historical fiction that highlights previously uncelebrated contributions of women at key moments in history. She has an M.A. in French from the University of North Texas and has spent time living in Bayeux and Avignon, France as well as Quebec City and Montreal during the course of her studies and research. She was able to uncover the material needed for her debut novel while on a research trip to Quebec financed by a generous grant from the Association des Études Québécoises. She loves travel, music and books above almost all things. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two adorable children.