Heritage of the River By

It’s the 1600s in the wildlands of North America…the future Canada. Red-haired, seventeen year-old twin Marguerite and Paul Boissart are raised in a strict family in frontier town but are rebels destined for adventure and heart-break. 

Marguerite has an affair with an exiled French dandy. As a result, she’s driven from her home, moving in with her married sister in a lonely outpost deep in the unconquered forest. There she witnesses the horror of an Indian massacre that wipes out the whole village. Young and beautiful, she was captured by the savages and taken to a barbaric Indian village to be tortured…and that’s only the beginning of her saga. 

Meanwhile, her brother Paul fares no better. He, too, is exiled from his their home after an affair…and becomes a fur trader in the rugged frontier…and a soldier battling the bloody English invasion.

Their exciting stories are told against the background of the robust young French colony on the St. Lawrence River that would become Montreal. It was a country of exiled aristocrats and their elegant women; of drinking, swaggering coureurs de bois from the trackless forests; of hard bitten settlers pitting their strength against the elements, bedeviled by the whims of a debauched King. 

“A rousing good story…guaranteed to make the reader glance apprehensively around him and jump at the snap of a twig outside.” Saturday Review of Literature

“There is certainly enough blood and thunder, lavish pageantry, and lusty love-making to entice….” Hartford Courant

“Elwood has packed everything into this. There is warfare, there is intrigue, there is romance.” New York Herald-Tribune

“One of the most fascinating historical novels written in some time. Heritage of the River combines acti0n, color, atmosphere and characterization in equal proportions. Fascinating reading.” The Gazette (Montreal)

“A really important historical novel.” Chicago Tribune

“A harrowing, robust historical novel, the colorful, swift-moving story of Canada in the late 1600s…vividly portraying Quebec and Montreal and the hostile Indian tribes with whom the French waged almost constant war.” Philadelphia Inquirer

“Vivid and eventful…filled with spicy romance, drama, intrigue and complications.” Wichita Eagle

“A rich picture of pioneer life filled with drama and intrique.” The Province (Vancouver, BC)

“An eventful, vividly emotional, superbly-scened novel of life in Canada in the late 1600s and the story of two exceptional characters.” The San Luis Obispo Tribune

“Absorbing reading…gripping and vivid…romantic, reckless and rich in folklore.” Vancouver Sun

The first novel in the epic Courville-Boissarts quartet. Muriel Elwood (1902-1976) was the author of several novels and was a longtime resident of Ojai, California, where she owned a gallery and also taught creative writing at the local college.


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