Daughters of the Deer, by Danielle Daniel

In my own process of researching and writing a book series about early English colonization, one thing I’ve said several times is that I wish there was more historical fiction exploring that period written by Indigenous writers, telling the story from the point of view of the colonized rather than the colonizers. I don’t know a whole lot about writer Danielle Daniel, for example whether she is a member of any First Nation, but I do know that she claims both French and Indigenous ancestry and the story she tells in Daughters of the Deer is drawn from her own family history in those early decades of French colonization in Canada, so it is definitely the kind of thing I’ve been wanting to read. It focuses on Marie, and Algonquin woman, who is pressured by her community into marrying a Frenchman, Pierre, and raising their children as French Catholics. Marie tries to keep some of her own religion and culture alive in herself and in her children, but when her daughter grows up to fall in love with another woman — something that was accepted in Marie’s own community, but deeply taboo in Catholic New France — a clash of cultures is inevitable. I was glad to find this book and would love to read more historical fiction written from an Indigenous perspective.


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