Journey of Hope

An idealistic young couple set out across country in search of a better life for themselves and their young son in this sweeping historical novella set against the rugged backdrop of early-19th-century British North America.

When her drunken father-in-law showed up threatening to kill both her and her husband, 19-year-old Claire didn’t need any more convincing to strike out west. Together with their 1-year-old son, she and Harold leave New Brunswick behind on a 900-mile trek across Upper and Lower Canada.

At first the journey feels like the adventure that farm-boy Harold has always wanted, not to mention a way for Claire, who was hired out at ten, to finally move up in the world. But the land is unyielding, the weather harsh, and it isn’t long before the couple find themselves waylaid. Soon every mile they put behind them feels like a step in the wrong direction.

As her previously happy marriage takes a turn toward estrangement, Claire scrabbles for shreds of peace and stability, seeking out what little work she can find to help pay for their mounting travel costs. But tragedy lies right around the corner, and these two young pioneers will be forced to lean on each other — or risk losing everything they’ve sacrificed so much to build.

Adjustment Year by Melina Druga

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