Claire by Moonlight

 
4.0
 
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Claire by Moonlight
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
April 12, 2005
ISBN
0887766595
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Claire’s future should be simple and predictable and include all the normal expectations of a young Acadian woman. But her life is far from straightforward. Her mother’s mental illness is a blot on the family name and Claire feels the brunt of it keenly. Her father, long sickened by his wife’s behavior, barely finds the energy to fend for his ever-growing family. Claire’s brother, Jacques, is increasingly angry and suspicious of the British soldiers who seem to take an unnatural interest in the family’s daily routine. Grandmère, well she is Grandmère – always hard to please, never capable of a single word of praise, no matter how hard Claire works to provide for all of them.

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.

Editor reviews

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Claire, A Tale of Acadie
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
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Writing Style 
 
0.0
Ever since their ancestors settled on the Atlantic coast 150 years ago, the Acadians have been living peacefully on the bountiful land--until the English decide that the neutral farmers and fishermen must swear allegiance to the Crown and take arms against Britain's enemies. 15-year-old Claire doesn't know what to do: should she, like her brother, support the French, with whom her people share a common ancestry, or should she help her father look for a solution that avoids taking sides? Torn by conflicting loyalties and secret feelings for a dashing and not so typical English soldier, Claire must find a way to survive the Great Upheaval, reunite her family and find home again.

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.
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