Claire by Moonlight
And then there is Sam Douglass, handsome in his red coat and always paying attention to her. What danger does she court just by talking to him? Somehow Claire must make sense of it all before her home in Grand-Pré is changed forever. There are traitors about but who are they? Is Sam one? Is Jacques? Most terrifying of all, is she?
Lynne Kositsky paints a vivid portrait of the land, the Acadians, and a tragic chapter in history. Claire by Moonlight traces the journey of one girl, facing insurmountable odds, who will forever remain haunted by the ghosts of those she loved.
The experiences of a French-speaking Acadian girl are certainly not an obvious choice for an English-language novel, especially given the fact that tension between English and French is the main cause for conflict in the book, but instead of glossing over the incongruity, Kositsky's text highlights it. The slight feeling of strangeness brought out through the characters' way of speaking and Claire's unusual narration serves to reinforce the fact that Acadian culture and history are unique. Although the scenes in New England seem at the same time too brief and a little far-fetched, the story on the whole is engrossing. Minority characters such as the slave Brutus and the natives Maie and Atonwa are so appealing, and so different from the usual caricatures, that readers will wish they had been given more importance. High marks to Lynne Kositsky for succesfully taking on this challenging and sometimes forgotten period in North American history.