Marie-Claire, Book 3: Visitors


80 pages
Contains Maps
ISBN 0-14-301485-4
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Sharif Tarabay
Reviewed by Sylvia Pantaleo

Sylvia Pantaleo is an associate professor of education, specializing in
children’s literature, at the University of Victoria. She is the
co-author of Learning with Literature in the Canadian Elementary


Near the end of the second Marie-Claire book, A Season of Sorrow (2002),
Marie-Claire invited the Linteau family, who had lost their home to
fire, to live with her family. Book 3 is about the 10-year-old
French-Canadian girl’s life in Montreal in the late 1880s. As it
begins, Marie-Claire is communicating her weariness with the Linteaus’
prolonged stay. Against her mother’s advice, Marie-Claire speaks to
the priest about finding alternative accommodations for the Linteau
family. On her way home from the church, she is struck by a horse and
carriage. The owners of the carriage insist on taking her to their home
so that she can rest and recover from her minor injuries. A child of
humble origins, Marie-Claire is amazed by the luxuries in the wealthy
English couple’s home and their kindness. She meets their daughter and
their French servant girl, Céleste. Marie-Claire confides in Céleste
about the current conditions in her home. By the end of the story,
Céleste’s widowed aunt has offered the Linteaus a place to live, and
Céleste and Marie-Claire’s brother, Louis, have developed a mutual
attraction for each other.

The book is part of the Our Canadian Girl Series, a group of books that
tell stories about girls across Canada at various times in history. A
timeline at the back of the book provides information about the
characters in various books in the series and about major Canadian
historical events from 1608 to 1949. An introduction to the book
provides some historical information to contextualize the story.
Marie-Claire is an active character who displays initiative and
commitment. In this latest volume, she gets to experience a social and
cultural world very different from anything she has known or could even
imagine. Recommended.


Stinson, Kathy., “Marie-Claire, Book 3: Visitors,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024,