Uncertain Heritage by Helenora Gale
Set in Canada in the 1800s, this lively story of two innocent, warm-hearted orphan girls and their quest for happiness, success, knowledge of their parentage, and love.
The two babies, found at the convent gates, wrapped together in a luxurious silk quilt, are cared for by the nuns of St. Joseph’s Orphanage. Red¬headed Darra and flaxen-haired Catherine grow up in Kingston, Ontario, believing themselves to be sisters.
The day comes when they have to leave the convent and go into service, for without a family, it is necessary that they earn a living. Catherine composed and bookish, and tempestuous Darra, step into a world of dangers and temptations for which their religious upbringing has left them totally unprepared. As unprotected girls in a barely settled country, they are on a knife-edge between survival and destitution and it is this that makes their adventures such compulsive reading.
The Canada of the 1850s, is wonderfully evoked, with its stark contrasts of lawlessness and Victorian civilization; a land of Missions and gamblers, soldiers, pioneer homesteaders and sophisticated French politicians.
This is a delightful novel, full of ironies and confusions that are not fully disentangled until the very last chapter.
Number of Words: 94000
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