Charlie of Île Saint Jean by Geoff Hussey
When young English woodcutter Charlie Evans is disgraced and exiled to the colony of Île Saint Jean, he lands unprepared on the edge of winter in a small English settlement of what will become Prince Edward Island. He survives near-starvation only to face a murderous shipyard owner threatened by Charlie's efforts to build his own shipbuilding enterprise.
Unlikely aid comes from a French Acadian family, but Charlie’s romance with a young French woman leads him into conflict with a brutal, incompetent major during the British roundup and expulsion of Acadian settlers from the colony and their forced return to Old France.
Shadowing Charlie in this New world is the question of a child that he was said to have sired years before in England. What of the babe? And its mother?
This novel offers a dramatic recapitulation of the Island's early colonial history, including the factual events leading up to the expulsion: compassionate insights are brought to the deprivations of young peasant lads in the King’s army, who must expel resentful – and elusive —— islanders, and finally force them on to the Duke William and the Violet, two of the three leaky vessels carrying captured Acadians across the Atlantic.
Readers live a moving, lusty history with each of Charlie's trials and loyalties. Will he ever learn the secret that could take him beyond his wildest dreams?
Ah, fate lingers... and history wins again.