TORONTO (PRWEB) May 20, 2015
Marie Anne Lajimoniere (née Gaboury) was a French-Canadian woman who lived from 1780 to 1875. She is noted as both the grandmother of Canadian patriot Louis Riel and the first woman of European descent to travel to and settle in what is now Western Canada.
In the new historical fiction “The Hivernante: Marie Anne Lajimoniere, the White Mother of the West” (published by iUniverse), author Mary Willan Mason shares real details from Lajimoniere’s life in a novelized retelling. At first, Lajimoniere was a secluded housekeeper in a priest’s home, but she later became the adored bride of the adventurous Jean Baptiste Lajimoniere and the first white woman to “winter over” or “hivernante” as a semi-nomad on the wild, unsettled western prairies.
“This gallant and courageous woman and her dauntless, high-spirited husband lived in the early days of the white man’s penetration of the western prairies,” Mason says. “There were no cowboys, no borders, and no boundaries. Their perilous existence is an important part of our history as North Americans.”
“The Hivernante” gives a woman’s point of view of coping, loving and surviving in a male-dominated society. She gave birth to the first of her eight children in a buffalo-hide tent in mid-winter; a jealous Cree woman threatened to poison her; her son was briefly kidnapped; she encountered braves on the warpath; her husband was imprisoned in the midst of the fur wars, leaving her to fend for herself on the unforgiving frontier. Through one hair-raising adventure and crisis after another, her hope, faith, love of the land, courage and fortitude helped her to realize her dreams.
About the Author
Mary Willan Mason graduated from University College of the University of Toronto. A journalist, art, music, and drama critic, and editor and director of a non-profit arts federation, she is the author of two published works, one of which won two awards. She is the mother of one son, has two grandchildren and lives in Toronto.
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