Pillars of Avalon

Katherine Pym and Jude Pittman. BWL (Ingram, U.S. dist.; Red Tuque, Canadian dist.), $15.99 trade paper (454p) ISBN 978-1-77299-436-0
This engrossing novel from Pym (The Barbers) and Pittman (Deadly Consequences), part of a Canadian Historical Brides series and published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation, is a well-researched but fictionalized account of the lives of Capt. David Kirke and Lady Sara Kirke, who were instrumental in the European colonization of Newfoundland in the mid-17th century. The captain lived a remarkable life in the thick of history. King Charles 1 sent him to North America to seize all the settlements in New France, and he succeeded. To appease King Louis XIII, however, Charles reneged on his pact, and Kirke was obliged to return all that he had taken. Charles granted Kirke a commercial monopoly in Newfoundland, but when the king was beheaded, Kirke was accused of unlawfully seizing the province of Avalon (now Newfoundland) and imprisoned. The book focuses on the Kirkes’ marriage and highlights Sara’s major role as an entrepreneur, outfitting the ships that went between London and the New World and managing their plantation in her husband’s absence. The beginning is dense with detailed descriptions and archaic 17th-century language, but the novel is still recommended for readers interested in the Europeans who colonized Canada. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
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