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"I will never forget his next words. "We must not forget them. We must remember those who have gone on before us. We are proud of what we are, you and I, mademoiselle—Scot, Abenaki, French and Canadian. We have lost much, but it cannot touch what we are.""
Andrew to Geneviève Aubuchon[2]

The Death of My Country: The Plains of Abraham Diary of Geneviève Aubuchon is a book written by Maxine Trottier. It was the fourteenth book released in the Dear Canada series. The book was published in September 2005 and was followed by Julie Lawson's No Safe Harbour.

The story follows Geneviève Aubuchon, an Abenaki orphan, during the Seven Years' War.

Dedication

"For Jeanette Murray-Pastorius, who has stood at Culloden and who will never forget who has gone before her."

Book description

"Le 13 mai 1759
"We must leave this place," Chegual said when we walked alone by the river. He would take me from Québec and back to the Abenaki mission at St. Francis so that I would be safe. When I insisted that we were safe here, that the city is well fortified, he made a rude noise. He has heard stories of the British army, of its size and strength. He knew what the capitaine of the ship had said, that France had abandoned its people here. "I will not abandon you," he told me. "I am your brother." What he says about France may be true. But how can I leave Mme Claire and Mère Esther after what they have done for me? My brother's answer turned my blood to ice. "Then you may be choosing death, sister. If that is so, I will die with you."

"Le 13 mai 1759
« Nous devons quitter cet endroit », a dit Chegual tandis que nous marchions au bord du fleuve, ce soir. Il disait qu'il allait me faire quitter Québec et me ramener chez les Abénaquis de la mission de Saint-François où je serais en sécurité.
Quand je lui ai objecté que nous étions en sécurité ici, que la ville était bien fortifiée, il a fait « pfuit ». Puis il a dit qu'il avait entendu parler de l'armée britannique, de sa taille et de sa puissance. Et qu'il savait ce que le capitaine de la frégate avait dit, que la France avait abandonné ses gens d'ici.
« Je ne t'abandonnerai pas, Miguen, m'a-t-il dit. Je suis ton frère. »
Ce qu'il disait de la France était sans doute exact. Mais comment pourrais-je abandonner madame Claire et mère Esther après tout ce qu'elles ont fait pour moi? Sa réponse m'a glacé les sangs jusqu'à la moelle.
« Alors, tu iras vers une mort certaine, petite sœur. Et s'il en va ainsi, je mourrai auprès de toi. »
"

Plot

Geneviève Aubuchon is an Abenaki orphan living with her adoptive mother Claire Pastorel in Québec, New France. Her brother Chegual ran away two years ago to join the Abenaki along with his best friend, Étienne L'Aubépine. As the war between France and England looms closer, Chegual returns to convince Geneviève to leave the city with him. She refuses to leave behind Mme Claire, so Chegual and Étienne stay and fight on France's side.

In late June, British warship arrive up river of Québec. A few days later, thirty-eight ships are visible from Geneviève's balcony. Chegual and Étienne cause Geneviève worry as they are often away fighting. The British start attacking the town with bombs two weeks later. Chegual and Étienne arrive just in time to help Geneviève and Mme Claire evacuate to the Ursuline convent. Once the convent evacuates, they go to Mme Claire's other house, which they believe to be far enough away from the bombs.

Chegual makes one final attempt to get Geneviève to leave in September. Étienne, however, convinces him to stay and fight for his sister. That night, the British win a decisive battle against the French and Québec surrenders within a few days. Several days past before Geneviève sees Chegual, who is badly wounded. He is brought to the hospital, where his sister diligently takes care of his wound. A few days later, Geneviève learns of Étienne's death. After telling Chegual the sad news, she sees a strange Scotsman mouth something to her. Later, she refuses to treat the Scotsman, though she ends up doing so anyway.

Geneviève confesses her resentment towards the British to Père Segard, who assigns her penance. She must nurse the Scotsman, named Andrew Doig. He later has Andrew billeted at Geneviève's home. Neither particularly enjoy the other's company. After reading Andrew's journal, her opinion of him completely changes. They gradually become close friends. One day, she asks him what he said the day she Chegual about Étienne's death. He replies "remember the people from whom you came."

Characters

Main article: List of The Death of My Country characters
  • Geneviève Aubuchon, an Abenaki orphan raised by a Frenchwoman, named Claire Pastorel. Unlike her brother, Geneviève adjusted well to life with the French in Québec.
  • Chegual is Geneviève's older brother. He ran away two years earlier to join the Abenaki. In 1759, he returns to protect his sister from the ongoing war.

Author

Main article: Maxine Trottier

Maxine Trottier (born May 3, 1950 in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan) is an children's author, who previously taught elementary school for over thirty years. She primarily writes books about Canada's history. Trottier has penned three books in Dear Canada, including Alone in an Untamed Land and Blood Upon Our Land, as well as one book from I Am Canada, Storm the Fortress.

Trottier is a member of a unit called Le Détachement that reenacts the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War)." She says "my family fought in that war, and so this story has great personal meaning for me."

Editions

Awards

  • Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People (2006) - shortlisted[4]
  • Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice (2006) - commended[5]

Acknowledgements

"My thanks to Barbara Hehner for her careful checking of the manuscript, as well as Andrew Gallup, historian, writer and co-conspirator in re-enacting, for the same thoughtful work. My appreciation to Charlotte Picard and her husband John Ashley Sheltus, upon whom I based the characters of Mme Claire and Lieutenant Stewart. And as always, my thanks to my husband Bill for his endless patience and support."

References

See also


v - e - dDear Canada

Orphan at My Door | A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | With Nothing But Our Courage | Footsteps in the Snow
A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Whispers of War | Alone in an Untamed Land | Brothers Far from Home | An Ocean Apart
A Trail of Broken Dreams | Banished from Our Home | Winter of Peril | Turned Away | The Death of My Country
No Safe Harbour | A Rebel's Daughter | A Season for Miracles | If I Die Before I Wake | Not a Nickel to Spare
Prisoners in the Promised Land | Days of Toil and Tears | Where the River Takes Me | Blood Upon Our Land
A Desperate Road to Freedom | A Christmas to Remember | Exiles from the War | To Stand On My Own
Hoping for Home | That Fatal Night | Torn Apart | A Sea of Sorrows | Pieces of the Past | A Country of Our Own
All Fall Down | Flame and Ashes | A Time for Giving | These Are My Words

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