It’s a bright and early Saturday morning as I’m writing this on day 7 of 24 Books to Christmas. Earlier, I looked out to the garden and for the first time in 3 days the sky is clear and a light blue color, no fog in sight. The temperature has risen by ten degrees putting us at a comfortable 8 degrees Celsius. The first book that came to mind while making tea and looking out my kitchen window was Barkskins by Annie Proulx.
I must admit the only other book I had read by Annie Proulx was 1994 Pulitzer Prize winning The Shipping News. I didn’t care for it too much because I found it to be a bit too depressing for my taste. In spite of that first book failure by Proulx, I decided to buddy read Barkskins with Booktuber Retired Book Nerd in 2017. We were immediately drawn into this adventurous, epic tale. It begins in 1693 Canada and will take you all the way to 2013. Complete with a family tree in the back of the book, my eyes were riveted on this story for about 3 weeks between January and February. You have to love a book with a complex family tree.
I recommend this book to people who love reading stories that develop through time, adventurous stories, family sagas, historical fiction, and books with themes that we don’t see coming. Barkskins is definitely a book full of some wonderful surprises. It’s over 600 pages but I’d definitely read it again. Very enjoyable! Barkskins would make a great book club pick too. The discussions would definitely go deep.
“In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a “seigneur,” for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters—barkskins. René suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years…”
I hadn’t realized but Barkskins has been turned into a series which is airing on the National Geographic channel in November 2019. Has anybody seen it yet? If so let me know below what you think of it.
Barkskins – Annie Proulx
Publisher: 4th Estate
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
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