The Lost Diaries of Susanna Moodie: A Novel

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HarperCollins, Apr 25, 2017 - Fiction - 400 pages
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Engrossing historical fiction for readers of The Bride of New France and The Birth House, about one of Canada’s most inimitable pioneers and her struggles to survive in the wilderness, brought beautifully to life in this accomplished debut

Teetering on the edge of genteel poverty, Englishwoman Susanna Moodie agrees to leave her behind her growing career as a writer to follow her husband from her beloved Suffolk to the backwoods of Canada. John Moodie is an ebullient man with a weakness for money-making schemes, and he is convinced that riches await them in the New World. It is the 1830s, and despite their dreams, Susanna is woefully unprepared for life in the wilderness. Her true story of hardship and survival in a log cabin deep in the bush is part of our national mythology. Now, respected writer and editor Cecily Ross ?gives us an unprecedented fictional portrait of Susanna—the sister, the wife, the mother, the writer, a woman confronting both the wilds of Canada and the wilderness of her own heart. Told through imagined “lost diaries,” the novel explores Susanna’s complex inner life from childhood through the worst challenges of pioneering in a harsh and unforgiving landscape with her devoted but hapless and often absent spouse. Part love story, part coming of age narrative, this captivating novel brings to vivid life Moodie’s courage, wit and strength, as well as her moments of despair. The Lost Diaries of Susanna Moodie shows how one woman, against all odds and adversity, prevailed and made this savage and beautiful land her own.

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About the author (2017)

CECILY ROSS is an award-winning writer and editor who has worked at The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Harrowsmith, The Cobourg Star and The Peterborough Examiner. Her writing has appeared in these publications as well as in The New York Times, Chatelaine, ON Nature and Zoomer Magazine. She lives in Creemore, Ontario.

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