Claire by Moonlight


272 pages
ISBN 0-88776-659-5
DDC jC813'.54





Elisabeth Anne MacDonald-Murray teaches English literature at Brandon
University, Brandon, Manitoba.


Lynne Kositsky’s depiction of the Acadian expulsion is a stirring tale
of fear, loss, and stubborn survival. Claire Richard, her Acadian
heroine, is a 15-year-old girl who has to grow up fast when her
community is destroyed by English soldiers who are seizing the
Acadians’ land and forcing them out of their homes. Claire’s father
and older brother have been deported to France, a country they have
never known; her village of Grand Pré has been set ablaze; and Claire
is torn between her hatred and fear of the brutal English soldiers and
her love for a young French-speaking soldier who is appalled by what he
is being ordered to do. Separated from her mother and youngest brother
on the deportation boats, Claire tries to hold together the remnants of
her family as she and her remaining brother and sister endure a
shipwreck and appalling conditions on the boats, always hoping to
finally return to their beloved Acadia.

Well-researched and beautifully written, Kositsky’s story of a young
girl’s trial by fire and water presents a compelling portrait of a
tragic chapter in our country’s history. The poignant story moves
between romance, tragedy, and adventure, while the strong and determined
character of Claire is appealing with its mixture of youthful hope and
mature calculation as she strives to find a new home for her remaining
family. The historical elements of the narrative are skilfully
presented, providing an accurate portrayal of Acadia, New England, and
New France in 1755, while never being intrusive or contrived. This work
of historical fiction succeeds at being both educational and
entertaining. Highly recommended.


Kositsky, Lynne., “Claire by Moonlight,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 29, 2024,