Les Filles du Roy (Colette Piat)

Colette Piat tells us here the story of Marie Arnault, one of the Roy's Daughters, sent to New France in 1663 to repopulate the colony of Canada, selected in part thanks to the knowledge transmitted by her father: she can ride a horse, read, write, has notions in medicine, has learned to think and is provided of a slightly rebellious character.

Les Filles du Roy: the story

We follow her from her native province in Normandy, abandoning her dear friend Jacob who is Protestant, fleeing a father-in-law who is too enterprising and tyrannical to find himself at the General Hospital in Paris after having refused to the Sun King, considered as the daughter of joy.

Selected to go to New France, Marie began her new life with three months of boat travel. Thanks to her medical knowledge and her good humor, always ready to do good, she makes friends, is admitted to the officers who count on her to help the doctor, but has to accept bad weather, hard bread, scurvy ...
On their arrival, the Filles du Roy discover new faces and new landscapes, everyone seems happier; then it is the first marriages full of gaiety, the organization of this new community, the installation and the construction of the houses before the snow arrives, the hunt for bears and "savages" ... finally the first children are born in 1666!

Marie's life continues despite her personal setbacks, thanks to her energy and adaptability as well as to the support of the governor; she organizes her time between caring for the sick, visiting her friends, receptions resembling those at Versailles, getting to know the founder of Louisiana, defending against Indians of all kinds ... until returning to France with her son and her husband Jacob.

Life still has many surprises in store for her, it was the time of the "dragonnades" when the soldiers went to kill the Protestants ... she only wanted to return to Canada!

Our opinion

Colette Piat offers us a pleasant novel, both for adults and for younger readers, easy to read. The explanations and the expressions of the language of the XVII th century are pleasant. Feelings, passion or discontent are well reported. However, despite the descriptions of very interesting situations and places, they are perhaps a little sketchy ...

Les filles du roy, by Colette Piat. Editions Qu├ębec-livres, June 2013.

Video: OLC - Filles du Roi 8-7-10 (January 2022).