She Has Always Moved between Worlds,
But Now She Must Choose a Side
The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval would rather remain neutral in a world tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the Seven Years’ War against her wishes when her British ex-fiancé, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel claims he has information that could help end the war, and he asks Catherine to help him escape.
Peace appeals to Catherine, even if helping the man who broke her heart does not. But New France is starving, and she and her loved ones may not survive another winter of conflict-induced famine. When the dangers of war arrive on her doorstep, Catherine and Samuel flee by river toward the epicenter of the battle between England and France. She and Samuel may impact history, but she fears the ultimate cost will be higher than she can bear.
Between Two Shores spans from 1744 to 1761 and chronicles the life of Catherine Stands-Apart, a woman born from the union of a French trapper and his Mohawk wife. After the death of her mother, Catherine’s decision to leave her sister and brother in the village of Kahnawake and join her father at his trading post located across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal, would set the course for her life. From that moment on, she became a woman caught in the middle of two worlds and eventually two nations.
Family dynamics drive this story, while unique circumstances precipitated by the French and Indian War ratchet up the tension even higher. Green made me feel so much empathy for Catherine, whose heart was broken time and time again by those who were supposed to love and cherish her the most. First, by her sister whose bitterness took root when Catherine abandoned the People. Then repeatedly by her father, who tried to have the “savage” trained out of his daughter, and when that failed took to abusing her—a problem compounded by alcohol. Last of all by her betrothed, who she assumed to be dead until he was ransomed by her father.
In this novel, some characters are adopted by Indians while others are ransomed. “Once a captive is ransomed, he or she stays and works in that location like an indentured servant for six years or so, until the money spent on the ransom is considered paid off by labor. At the end of that time, the ransomed captive is usually free to leave New France.” While these practices were common in the period, my favorite aspect of this story was how Green turns them into spiritual lessons about how Christians are ransomed by Christ and adopted into the Kingdom of God. It’s absolutely beautiful!
As a veteran fan of the author, I’ve come to know and cherish her vivid imagery and impeccable research. I like the direction she’s taken with her 7th novel—steering away from romance without sacrificing deep interpersonal relationships. Between Two Shores was an excellent way to kick off 2019! Pick up a copy when it releases February 5th from Bethany House Publishers.
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“Half-breed, some called her. But she was wholly who the Great Good God had made her, and wholly set upon this path.” Catherine Stands-Apart, Between Two Shores
“You did the right hard thing.” –Bright Star, Between Two Shores