I'm happy to report that I spent this weekend exactly as I wanted to. I caught up on laundry, cleaned the house, slept like a bear and read a great book.
I started BRIDE OF NEW FRANCE on Friday, and couldn't put it down until this afternoon when I finished it. BRIDE OF NEW FRANCE, by Suzanne Desrochers is about a girl named Laure living in Paris in the 1600s. Taken from her parents at the age of eight, Laure is brought to the Salpetriere, an infirmary for downtrodden women and girls. It is actually more of a prison, brought on by King Louis XIV's promise to rid the streets of Paris of beggars, children and prostitutes. She grows up there, learning to make lace with her only friend Madeleine, dreaming of a day when maybe she can become a seamstress. Unfortunately these dreams are dashed when she is chosen to be sent to Canada to become a wife for one of the settlers there. It is a fate some believe to be worse than death. And although she survives the journey to the new world, she realizes it is nothing like she expected and that it brings all new challenges that will threaten her survival.
Not hard to believe that I couldn't put it down, am I right? BRIDE OF NEW FRANCE is such a rich book, filled with terror, excitement and tribulation. It was such a welcome change to the last book I read, which was rather dry and boring. It took me almost a month to read the last one, and I devoured BRIDE OF NEW FRANCE in a weekend. What a difference. Part of what made this book so good (aside from the excellent writing and story telling) was Laure herself. She was such a perfect character. She was full of dreams and hope, but realistic enough to realize the truth of her situation. She was flawed, scarred by the experiences of her troubled life, but had a deep seated will to survive. It was fantastic.
So, if you're looking for a good book to devour next weekend, I suggest you give BRIDE OF NEW FRANCE a try. I found it to be the perfect weekend read.