Sunday, July 11, 2010

Read Your Way Around Nova Scotia - Final Installment

Last year we read our way around Nova Scotia and had such a good time, we thought we'd go again.

Deep Roots by Kathleen K. Tudor concerns what appears to be a community on Nova Scotia's South Shore. Most of us look upon our National Parks with pride, but probably have never considered the impact this designation can have on local residents. In Deep Roots, the Hardy family and the rest of the community fight against a proposed national park in their town. The residents are deeply attached to their homes and the land, and are dismayed that their homes will be destroyed. The contrast between the residents learning to deal with government officials on their level and their relationship with their physical environment and each other is quite touching.

The Young Icelander: the story of an immigrant in Nova Scotia and Manitoba by Johann Magnus Bjarnason is the story of an Icelandic boy who was stranded, along with his grandparents on Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore, eventually ending up in Mooseland. This gem was originally written in Icelandic in the early part of the twentieth century and only very recently translated. This novel brings to mind a Dickensian orphan's struggle to survive. The characters he encounters personify kindness and encouragement or the darker aspects of life. This is a unique perspective on the immigrant experience in Nova Scotia's early history.

The Foreign Protestants were an 18th century migrant group in Nova Scotia. Forgotten Settlers: Nova Scotia's foreign Protestants by Barbara Cooke Meredith tells their story through Georg Frolig. Having some difficulty attracting British immigrants, the British government recruited settlers from the German duchies and principalities. Promised a year's rations and free land, these foreign protestants arrived with high hopes. The story begins with Georg Frolig on board The Gale bound for Nova Scotia. This is a fascinating portrait of Halifax as an 18th century frontier town, ending with Georg's settling in Lunenburg.

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