After their father dies of smallpox in the winter of 1666, thirteen-year-old Helene St. Onge and her older sister, sixteen-year-old Catherine, are left all alone in the world, their mother having died when Helene was a baby. Catherine decides they will leave France to make a new life in the New World. New France is mostly populated by men, and women are needed for their wives. Catherine will marry a settler, and Helene will help in her household until she is old enough to marry. But things do not go as planned. Catherine dies during the long sea voyage, and Helene finds herself arriving in New France, all alone in a strange new land. Helene must then struggle to build a new life for herself in this new world. She must contend with the brutal cold of winter, the hardships of day to day life in a new settlement, and her severe loneliness.
This report prepared by Rebecca Herman