Band of Acadians

Skelton, J. (2009). Band of Acadians: A novel. Toronto: Dundurn Press

John Skelton definitely did his homework before writing this book, but it is more than factual accuracy that appeals to me about how he set the story. This is one of the few books that has balance between the female and male characters. There is an equal representation of sexes in the lead characters, although overall there are more male than female characters, and both sexes are active participants progressing the narrative and showing multiple dimensions.

The book chronicles the escape of fifty boys and fifty girls from Grand Pre, Nova Scotia, their flight to Louisburg (the approximate distance is displayed in the Google map at the end of this post), and their eventually settling in Westmount where they successfully defend themselves from several British assaults. The story takes place in 1775 the dialogue is digestible for modern vocabularies, although I did find myself forgetting that the characters were French because the books is, obviously, written in English.

This is book that every fan of historical fiction can enjoy regardless of sex or gender. However, the way that it is written seems to be geared more towards male readers than female. Within a few sentences of the books beginning the escape is underway and there are many marvelous fight scenes throughout and some very noble heroics against the British forces at the end.

Though not my favourite genre this historical work was appealing and if anyone needed a bit of a boost getting into Canadian history (say, for a high school history class for example) I would happily recommend this book.


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