Island of Hope and Sorrow: The Story of Grosse Ile.


24 pages
Contains Photos, Maps
ISBN 978-1-897073-54-4
DDC j971.4'735






Illustrations by Aries Cheung
Reviewed by Gregory Bryan

Gregory Bryan is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.


Over the years, Grosse Île was the entry point to Canada for thousands of immigrants. The welcome was not always a pleasant one. In order to prevent the spread of cholera and other diseases into Canada, in 1832 Grosse Île was set up as a quarantine station in the Port of Quebec. It would continue to serve that purpose for the next century. Island of Hope and Sorrow documents the history of Grosse Île.


The book is attractively presented. Icons such as anchors, lighthouses, and ships’ steering wheels are embedded within the main text, and these icons direct the reader to supplemental explanatory history notes in text boxes. Renaud’s prose is informative and the information easily accessible. Illustrating the text are many historical black and white and sepia photographs. In addition to archival material, there are many sketches, full-colour paintings, and a smattering of present-day coloured photographs.


With its durable cover and binding, this book is ideal for school and library use. It will prove a useful resource for elementary and middle school children researching the history of Canada, as well as for those who have ancestors who entered the country through Grosse Île. Recommended.


Renaud, Anne., “Island of Hope and Sorrow: The Story of Grosse Ile.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024,